Tiny Victims: Thousands of Valuable, Cancer Research Lab Mice at NYU Die from Drowning, Years of Scientific Research Lost Due to Hurricane Sandy
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on October 31, 2012
So sad, and what a tremendous loss for science.
Reported by NY Daily News, NYU loses years of scientific research and thousands of mice to Hurricane Sandy:
The Daily News has just learned that years of scientific research — and thousands of mice — at New York University Hospital’s Smilow building on E. 32nd St. have been lost.
Most of the power that drives the research laboratories in that building next to the FDR Drive, including emergency power, was lost at 8:30 p.m. Monday. Many precious reagents — special enzymes, antibodies, DNA strands — generated by scientists and stored at -80 degrees and -20 degrees were likely destroyed, a researcher tells the Daily News.
Scientists are in a desperate frenzy to save what they can and transfer what can be moved to other areas of the hospital. In one case, scientists were rolling a big freezer — the size of a big refrigerator — to an area of the hospital with emergency power, the source told the News.
Even more alarming, thousands of mice that are used by scientists for cancer research and other experiments, drowned during a flood. It is unclear how the mice died, but the source told the News that many of these mice are genetically modified for certain research and took years to produce. It will likely set back several scientists’ work by years, the source said.
“This does not equate to a loss of life, but it is extremely disheartening to see years of research go down the drain,” the source said.
Hurricane Sandy was unkind to some of this city’s most interesting animals, including thousands of genetically modified mice that died in a flood at NYU. But thanks to a soaking-wet all-nighter by the Coney Island Aquarium staff, Mitik the baby walrus is doing just fine. The New York World confirmed that the care of the adorable, mustachioed, 236-pound baby refugee from Alaska wasn’t interrupted when the fourteen-acre aquarium flooded overnight.
The NYU mice were not so lucky. They, along with a cargo of sensitive reagents including “special enzymes, antibodies, DNA strands,” were lost when a flood hit NYU Hospital’s Smilow building on East 32nd Street, the Daily News reports. “It is unclear how the mice died, but the source told the News that many of these mice are genetically modified for certain research and took years to produce. It will likely set back several scientists’ work by years, the source said.”