The National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that it will retire most of its 360 laboratory chimpanzees for two reasons: the recent listing of captive chimpanzees as an endangered species and a 2011 MIT study that concluded chimpanzees were no longer crucial to the biomedical and behavioral sciences because mice, rats and other animals could be genetically altered to mimic the human immune system. The NIH plans to retain 50 chimpanzees for future, sanctioned use.

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