Can a case be made for medical testing in primates?

A truck carrying a monkey rolls into a secure location at the University of Melbourne and, from that moment, Professor Trichur Vidyasagar knows he will be getting little sleep in the next week.

The veteran medical scientist has just five days to extract as much information as possible from the brain of the animal.

Day and night, the professor and his team will hover between their computers and the metal probe rising from the anaesthetised macaque's bristly scalp, flashing lights in front of its vacant eyes and registering which neurones respond. Bit by bit, they are