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Harvard shows changes at primate lab

Independent panel to review center as training, daily checks are intensified

SOUTHBOROUGH - In a room lined with monkey cages, country music softly twangs beneath the chirps of excitable cotton-top tamarins. Nearby, a “Tom and Jerry’’ cartoon plays to a room full of rhesus macaques.

The animals, used in biomedical experiments or for breeding, are housed in cages labeled with their names - Bug, Dude, or May, for example - an identification number, and now, their weight. This change, to ensure the monkeys are placed in the right size cages, is one of a slew of steps being implemented at the New England Primate Research Center after the deaths of four monkeys in less than two years.

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