Monkey Health Explorer

photo of baby rhesus macaque

This is part of a larger collaborative project investigating how genes influence social behavior using rhesus macaque monkeys as a model. These highly social monkeys are excellent models for understanding human social behavior, including individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

What we learn by studying the monkeys can be used to help us understand similar processes in humans. We study the behavior of these monkeys and also collect genetic and other data from the same monkeys.

We collected blood to make smears that we can characterize to help us understand monkey health in the population. We identify and count the different types of cells in the whole blood from each animal. These data will be compared between animals to help us determine the number and kinds of cells in the average monkey in our population, and to then understand which ones are healthy and which may be sick. Next we can compare this blood count information with the behavioral measures on the same monkeys to see how animal health contributes to differences in their behavior.

Blood slide image

Help us learn more about monkey health by identifying white blood cell types.

Citizen Science Opportunity -Monkey Health Explorer
How Can You Contribute?

In this project we need your help to count and identify cell types in a blood sample, similar to what happens when our blood is taken at the doctor. These cell count data are critical to helping us understand which monkeys are healthy and which animals are sick in the population we’re studying. We can then compare the health data to the behaviour data to help understand how the health of monkeys impacts how they behave. This will provide us with information useful to understanding similar processes in humans.

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