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Allison Hits Houston Research Community

After Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston last month, researcher Jocelyne Bachevalier wasn't thinking about science when she learned that her 47 monkeys had died at the University of Texas Health Science Center. "We got very attached to these animals, because we work every single day with them," says Bachevalier, a professor of neurobiology and anatomy. "They've become our pets .... They react to their names, It's very painful." Bachevalier had used the monkeys in her research on the amygdala,

Harvey Black
After Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston last month, researcher Jocelyne Bachevalier wasn't thinking about science when she learned that her 47 monkeys had died at the University of Texas Health Science Center. "We got very attached to these animals, because we work every single day with them," says Bachevalier, a professor of neurobiology and anatomy. "They've become our pets .... They react to their names, It's very painful." Bachevalier had used the monkeys in her research on the amygdala, a small structure in the brain that researchers believe plays a key role in emotional behavior.

Her reaction is not unique. "People worked with dogs or rabbits or mice or rats, have cared for and fed these animals, in some cases for years," says George Stancel, interim vice-president for research and dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health Science Center. "There's a genuine loss there because of that relationship."...

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