|Previous||1 of 2||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
A New Orleans scientist with a monkey farm is about ready to launch what may be history-making research into abnormalities of the human heart. Dr. Charles Mayo Goss. anatomy department chief at Louisiana ' State university medical school, keeps a batch of 22 pint-sized squirrel monkeys on the top floor of the medical school's new wing. He's clocking their reproductive cycles, hoping to get a supply of monkey embryos for microscopic studies on early changes in the heart. Abnormal heart changes at this early stage are related to such anomalies as "blue banes" among human infants. 30-Year Study Dr. Goss has been studying these early changes in the embryonic heart for some .30 years. Up to the present, he's been using the embryos of rats* He's had three different sets of squirrel monkeys during 10 years of work conducted with a National Institute of Health research grant. But previous colonies were crowded out of their quarters at the fast-expanding LSU med. school. Not Much Space This time, Dr. Goss believes, he's all set for the job. Squirrel monkeys really don't need much space—a full grown male weighs just over two pounds. The squirrel monkey, says the LSU professor of anatomy, is a pocket-sized primate ideally suited to needs of his laboratory work. "They don't eat much, and they're pretty cheap to buy-about $15 to $25 wholesale. If you tried to use a big primate, like a chimpanzee, it'd cost thousands." Aside from monkey-business, which fascinates Dr. Goss just like it does the least scholarly zoo visitor, there's some painstaking work to be done in the lab if these simians are to add their bit to medical knowledge. Once Dr. Goss knows for sure when the monkeys get pregnant, he will remove the embryos by caesarian section and put them in special transparent chambers. Plastic Box In these chambers—a specially-constructed, palm-sized plastic box—the embryo is laved in a blood plasma solution and fed oxygen through tiny tubes. Dr. Goss puts one of these chambers under the lens of a microscope which is air-conditioned to maintain body temperature. The 'scope is outfitted with a movie camera to record development of the embryonic heart. "The hearts grow for a while in the chamber," Dr. Goss explains. "I have seen and taken movies of the first contractions of the heart at a stage when it amounts to little more than a couple of cells. "And I've pieced together a film showing development of the embryonic heart from the time it first beats until it begins to circulate the blood." Blue Dye Injection Abnormalities in development of the embryonic heart are produced In the laboratory by injection of a blue dye. This dye has been found capable of producing congenital malformations in 50 to 60 per cent of the embryos. Dr. Goss' research angle hinges on the belief that at this very early stage of development, when the heart begins its first movements, it should be possible to see the changes that produce the abnormalities. "This, he says, "is the vul- nerable early stage of development—comparable to three or four weeks' pregnancy in a human—when virus diseases attacking the mother may produce anomalies like 'blue babies.' " Dr. Goss is eager to get going with parallel research on the monkey embryos, because of their close relation with human embryos. Just One Hitch There's just one hitch. Nobody, including Dr. Goss, has any exact idea of the life cycle or reproductive patterns of squirrel monkeys. Squirrel monkeys live in large, sociable groups in the tops of trees in Central America, Colombia and Brazil. PHOTO: SIMMY, A 16-MONTH OLD SQUIRREL MONKEY, is weig'hed-in under the watehful eyes of DR. CHARLES M. GOSS, left, chief of the Louisiana State university heart research project; MISS GLORIA MILLER lab technician, and LEE POPEJOY, medical student.
|Title||N.O. scientist raises monkeys to learn ills of human heart|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Kelso, Robert N.
Goss, Charles M., Dr.
|Call Number||1960 p115-116|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
|Rights||Use is restricted to IP address of LSUHSC - New Orleans|