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Mouse hepatitis virus may help end chimp research

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A newly discovered rodent virus that resembles hepatitis C could give research chimps a break.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to make a decision imminently on how many of its 360 research chimps should be retired on the grounds that most studies can be done in other animals. One exception, however, is research on the hepatitis C virus (HCV): chimps are the only species whose immune systems respond to HCV – which primarily affects the liver – in the same way as humans. But now it seems that working with a similar virus in deer mice could offer an alternative.

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