Sandy and the Laboratory Mice
From Earth in Transition
One group of victims who could not escape the flooding of New York City this week were the more than 10,000 mice and rats in the flooded basement of the Smilow Research Center on First Avenue.
Bemoaning the loss of his work, Dr. Gordon J. Fishell of New York University's Neuroscience Institute told The New York Times: "My mouse colonies were wiped out ... These animals were the culmination of 10 years of work, and it will take time to replace them.”
No mention of the lives of the mice themselves.
Nor from Michelle Krogsgaard, a cancer biologist at the research center. "It's so horrible, you don't even want to think about it," she told ABC News. "All the work we did, all the time and money, we're going to have to start all over."
Fishell said his lab alone lost about 2,500 mice, and other departments lost 7,500 more mice and rats. The university called them "an important resource" in their studies of cancer, cardiovascular disease and epigenetics.
An unnamed person at the research center told the New York Daily News: "This does not equate to a loss of life, but it is extremely disheartening to see years of research go down the drain."
Fishell called it "an absolute tragedy any way you look at it.”
But if you were one of the mice who drowned, it may have been more of a blessing.
Not that Sandy will have put an end to what goes on in the basement of the research center. Vivisectionists at the University of Pennsylvania and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, have pledged to donate animals to restart some of the colonies at Smilow.
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