I’m opening this post to a discussion of using primates in research as seen in the following video.
Feel free to throw in your two cents… but let’s lay down some rules. In order to participate, first watch the video and then I’ll subjugate you to kindly read my previous posts on this subject matter. But for now, the video:
The posts you should read, or at least skim over, are these four posts on the ethics of using primates in research.
In this video we see how a monkey, looks like a macaque to me, is being used to conduct neurotech research. This type of research is a bit different from biomedical ones, but its applications are outstanding and the potential is nearly irrefutable.
There are many ‘pros’ to this video. As the commentators indicate, most of the these ‘pros’ reside on the fact that tests like these prove that humans without functioning limbs… be it due to paralysis or other forms of loss of function… can now use robotic arms to conduct daily tasks.
This research is very important, in my humble opinion. But it comes at a cost, and these costs are heavy moral ‘cons.’
See how the monkey is trapped in a box? Well it has to be, because I’m fairly sure sure it wouldn’t sit a second doing what the researchers wanted if it weren’t restrained. Also, there was some invasive surgery done. Electrodes are placed inside the monkey’s brain that interface between neurons and the computer and robotic arms… something that is more permanent than putting a monkey in a box for 30 minutes or so.
Knowing those basic pro’s and con’s, how do you feel about research like this? Should it be done in this manner? Do you see anything wrong with it? Do you feel this research is justifiable, given the potential benefits from it?