Monday, November 12, 2012

Oh! Those poor vivisectors...

Help for Sandy-Stricken Scientists
The Scientist. November 9, 2012

In the aftermath of the floods brought on by super storm Sandy that killed thousands of genetically engineered mice at a New York University (NYU) research center, the wider research community is rallying to help the scientists worst affected by the losses.

Once the storm had passed and it was clear that scores of important mice strains developed at NYU’s Smilow Research Center had been lost, several researchers offered to help restart colonies....

NY University faces growing criticism after Sandy kills lab mice
Reuters. November 7, 2012

... All told, said NYU spokeswoman Jessica Guenzel, the biomedical facility lost 7,660 cages of mice and 22 cages of rats. Each cage houses between one and seven animals, she said.

"This happens again and again and (research labs) never learn," said Fran Sharples, director of the Board on Life Sciences at the congressionally chartered National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

"Anybody with half a brain knows you do a site-specific analysis" to understand the risk of disasters, she said, "and it's really stupid to put your animals in the basement if you're in a flood zone."

It's not as if scientists didn't have recent lessons in the risk of natural disasters to biomedical research, she said. In 2001, tens of thousands of mice and scores of monkeys and dogs were lost when Hurricane Allison struck Houston; and in 2005, some 10,000 lab animals drowned when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans....

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