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Worked in a monkey lab?



Christopher Coe

Coe is the director of the infamous Harry Harlow Primate Psychology Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin.

Under his leadership people who actually care about the animals in the lab have left in disgust or have been forced out. In one case, veterinarian Jennifer Hess was paid over $250,000 to go away and promise not to speak openly about the lack of care, gross cruelty, and petty back-stabbing politics in Coe's lab.

Coe's experiments, though making him a rich man, are just plain stupid. Here's what you pay him to do:

He uses pregnant monkeys. He puts them in a carrier, takes them into a darkened room, and then blasts them with a 180-decibel car horn to frighten them. He does this at various times throughout their pregnancy. When the babies are born, he then infects them with a disease and tries to figure out whether they get sick more easily than monkeys whose mothers were not subjected to car horn honks.

Coe's message to pregnant humans: avoid being manhandled into dark rooms and frightened.

In 2004, the eighteenth year of funding for his grant, 5R01AI046521-18 Prenatal Stress And Immune Responsiveness, he received $360,000 in tax dollars.

A few of his publications:

Mother-infant attachment in the squirrel monkey: adrenal response to separation. (1978)

Behavioral and pituitary-adrenal response of adult squirrel monkeys to mother-infant separation. (1980)

Hormonal responses accompanying fear and agitation in the squirrel monkey. (1982)

Effect of maternal separation on the complement system and antibody responses in infant primates. (1988)

Immunological consequences of maternal separation in infant primates. (1989)

Early rearing conditions alter immune responses in the developing infant primate. (1992)

Repeated social stress during pregnancy impairs neuromotor development of the primate infant. (1993):

Neuromotor responses were assessed in 90 infant squirrel monkeys born from normal and stressed pregnancies. Repeated psychological disturbance during pregnancy, evoked by disruption of the pregnant female's social relationships, significantly altered the performance of the young infant on a standardized battery of neuromotor tests. As compared with infants from undisturbed pregnancies, infants from chronically stressed pregnancies had poorer motor abilities, impaired balance reactions, and reduced postrotary nystagmus. They also had shorter attention spans and looking episodes during the administration of orientation items. In contrast, when only a single stressful period was imposed during midgestation, infants were not significantly different from control subjects. These findings indicate that sustained stress across pregnancy can have deleterious effects on fetal development, but a short period of stress, at least when restricted to midgestation, does not appear to adversely affect neuromotor responses of the young primate infant.

Effects of early rearing environment on immune responses of infant rhesus monkeys. (1995)

Prenatal endocrine activation alters postnatal cellular immunity in infant monkeys. (1996)

Prenatal manipulations reduce the proinflammatory response to a cytokine challenge in juvenile monkeys. (1997)

Maternal endocrine activation during pregnancy alters neurobehavioral state in primate infants. (1998)

Maternal separation disrupts the integrity of the intestinal microflora in infant rhesus monkeys. (1999)

Prenatal stress and immune recognition of self and nonself in the primate neonate. (1999)

Intrinsic and environmental influences on immune senescence in the aged monkey. (2001)

Prenatal disturbance alters the size of the corpus callosum in young monkeys. (2002)

Prenatal stress diminishes the cytokine response of leukocytes to endotoxin stimulation in juvenile rhesus monkeys. (2002)

Prenatal stress diminishes neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of juvenile rhesus monkeys. (2003):

BACKGROUND: Early life stress, including during fetal development, has been hypothesized to predispose individuals to several illnesses and psychiatric disorders later in adulthood. METHODS: To determine whether prenatal stress alters neural, hormonal, and behavioral processes in nonhuman primates, pregnant rhesus monkeys were acutely stressed on a daily basis for 25% of their 24-week gestation with an acoustical startle protocol. At 2 to 3 years of age, hippocampal volume, neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, and cortisol levels were evaluated in the offspring generated from stressed and control pregnancies. RESULTS: Prenatal stress, both early and late in pregnancy, resulted in a reduced hippocampal volume and an inhibition of neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. These changes were associated with increased pituitary-adrenal activity, as reflected by higher cortisol levels after a dexamethasone suppression test, and also with behavioral profiles indicative of greater emotionality. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that the prenatal environment can alter behavior, dysregulate neuroendocrine systems, and affect the hippocampal structure of primates in a persistent manner.

Prenatal stress alters bacterial colonization of the gut in infant monkeys. (2004)

Madison's Hidden Monkeys is a joint project of the
Alliance for Animals and the
Primate Freedom Project