The present volume was written to provide an overview of many diverse areas of biomedical research to which the baboon has made and continues to make important contributions. Each chapter reviews the recent literature on the topic, discusses work in progress, and presents the authors vision of research opportunities and likely future contributions of the baboon model to human medicine. The baboon is a relative newcomer to the repertoire of nonhuman primates used in biomedical research. However, in less than 50 years since its first use in the U.S. it has become one of the most popular laboratory primate species. It is larger than the other widely used monkey species, making it advantageous for many types of experiments and technological developments. It is extraordinarily hardy and highly fecund in captivity. It closely resembles humans in a variety of physiological and disease processes, such as cholesterol metabolism, early stages of atherosclerosis, and alcoholic liver disease. Its chromosomes closely resemble those of humans, and many genes of the two species lie in the same chromosomal order. Among all primates, baboons are the most widely used as models for the genetics of susceptibility to complex diseases and they are the first nonhuman primate for which a framework genetic linkage map was established. In addition, the baboon genome is currently being sequenced, and as a result the utility of this species for biomedical research will be dramatically increased. For all of these reasons, the baboon is certain to continue as one of the premier nonhuman species used in medical research.

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