A Swiss Court has banned the use of the macaque monkey in brain experiments. From the Nature story (no link):
Zurich’s two largest institutes are appealing to the country’s supreme court after a lower court decided to ban two primate experiments studying how the brain adapts to change. They say that the ban is a serious threat to all basic research that uses animals in Switzerland…
The scientists use primates because their brains are closer to the human brain than any other species. “We need to understand the basic biology of our brains in order to be able to successfully treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s,” says Kevan Martin, one of the researchers. He says he intends to re-apply for ethics approval, making the value of the research more explicit. Roger Lemon, a neuroscientist at University College London, UK, says that finding out how brain circuitry works in normal as well as disease conditions is fundamental if new therapies are to be developed for neurological disorders. “A huge amount of the sort of work that Martin and his colleagues do lies behind the breakthroughs in applications we are now starting to see.”
I predict that the Swiss virus will spread–remember this is the nation of plant rights–significantly impeding human thriving. But what do we expect? Once you give up on human exceptionalism, human thriving becomes increasingly less important.