It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
originally posted by: ccseagull
a reply to: crazyewok
But maybe, just maybe, they infected others (before they died their early death), the virus mutated and the disease carried on.
Just thinking of the possibilities.
over 100 chimps were infected with diseases like hepatitis and river blindness in order to find cures, the documentary says.
In addition to traveling to Africa, the documentary team heads to Berkley Heights, NJ, to interview Betsy Brotman, the former head of the project -- and that's where the film truly gets engaging. Brotman was in Liberia during two extremely bloody civil wars.
Through all of the turbulence, including the loss of her husband who was shot in the conflict, she managed to provide refuge for both the chimps and a group of women and children who were affected by the violence. "When we went to the island to feed the chimps, we would see bodies floating in the water, sometimes women with babies tied to their back," she recalls at one particularly poignant moment in the documentary.
Working with a team of Liberians, the New York Blood Center continues to feed the chimps, most -- if not all -- of whom have recovered from their diseases and continue to live out their lives on a very real "Island of the Apes."
There are closed to 1,000 ”retired” and highly infected chimpanzees/apes that were used as experimental animals in different studies of hepatitis viruses which are now living on six man-made islands.
How safe are those chimps to co-exist with the surrendering communities? How many Liberians were treated for hepatitis, river blindness and schistosomiasis or snail fever? These were the main thrusts of ‘Vilab II’ and the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, respectively?
Could the disposal of the ‘Disneyland of infected apes’ in Liberia established by the New York Blood Center reduce or eliminate the current uncontrollable spread of Ebola virus? According to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, among the factors listed for emerging infectious diseases include “microbial adaptation and change,” meaning as researchers have changed the natural biophysical properties of these apes in the context of finding treatments for human diseases, they have alternated the microbes of these chimps, thereby creating new strains of virus. In other words, no scientist can say that these exercises are not often sensitive to variations that could lead to another pathogen.
Ebola virus is believed to be transmitted to human after coming in contact with dead and living chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, and forest antelope. Therefore, the way the government of Liberia handles ‘Disneyland of Infected Apes’ should show how committed it is in its flight against the Ebola virus.
Officials at the Blood Center said that 15 of the chimps at the Liberian lab carried hepatitis C and one had hepatitis B, but that they posed no serious risk to people or wildlife should they be released or eaten.
Many scientists who have worked at the center are already mourning its loss, even though Ms. Brotman remains determined to rebuild it. Dr. Preston Marx, a professor of microbiology at New York University, first visited the Liberian center in 1988 to study the correlation between viruses found in monkeys and those in neighboring human populations. He returned during a break in the fighting in 1994 and worked with Ms. Brotman on monkey viruses.
They will share authorship on a paper in the June issue of the journal Virology that bolsters the theory that viruses related to the agent causing AIDS can move quite readily from monkeys to humans, Dr. Marx said. That is one of many papers on which Ms. Brotman -- despite the lack of an advanced degree -- has shared authorship.