National BioResource Project
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Among animals used for experiments in the field of life sciences accompanying invasive manipulation , the Nihonzaru (Japanese macaque) is closely related to humans, with large amounts of information gathered on its sensory, motor, learning, and cognitive functions as well as anatomical data on its neural circuits, and it is also known as an animal with excellent capacities for learning and performing high-level cognitive tasks. The National Bioresource Project "Nihonzaru" (NBR) aims to rear and breed Japanese macaques with these outstanding features to support higher-brain function research in Japan, in order to provide researchers with a stable supply of high-grade experimental animals. At the same time as developing this supply business, the project will also actively engage in the widespread adoption of regulations and guidelines related to the handling of experimental animals, as well as educational activities concerning their welfare. A further objective of this project is to gather basic physiological, biochemical, molecular biological, and anatomical data as background data to improve the utility of Japanese macaques as experimental animals.
NBR consigns the breeding and rearing of Japanese macaques to a private-sector company and to the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University as a supplementary institution, and is developing its supply business. Researchers wishing to be supplied with Japanese macaques must apply in accordance with the Application Guidelines distributed to research institutions by NBR once a year. The content of their applications is rigorously scrutinized by the Committee on Animal Assignment, and a final decision made after the approval of the Nihonzaru Bioresource Committee.
In the current financial year 26 applications were received requesting 60 Japanese macaques, of which 21 applications for 51 animals were approved.
Distribution / Deposition
Recent research achievements include "Memory and Decision Making in the Frontal Cortex during Visual Motion Processing for Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements" (Fukushima et al., Neuron, 2009) and "Representation of Others' Action by Neurons in Monkey Medial Frontal Cortex" (Iriki, Isoda et al., Current Biology, 2011). In addition, there are many researches that originated from Japan such as “Time-Dependent Central Compensatory Mechanisms of Finger Dexterity After Spinal Cord Injury” (Nishimura, Isa et al., Science, 2007) and "Reversal of Interlaminar Signal Between Sensory and Memory Processing in Monkey Temporal Cortex” (Miyashita et al., Science, 2011).
Panel exhibition at the The 32nd Annual Meeting of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan.