Sandy destroyed years of medical research


Scientists in Spain have successfully extended the lifespan of lab mice using gene therapy.



Years of scientific research have been lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the New York Daily News reported. Disaster struck when the New York University hospital lost power in a storm, causing delicate research samples that needed to be kept at specific temperatures, such as DNA strands, to be destroyed.

Scientists are now in a desperate frenzy to save what they can, with some even rolling a massive freezer into an area of NYU's hospital that still has emergency power, an anonymous source told the Daily News. Worse is that thousands of mice that were used by scientists for cancer research and other experiments drowned during the flood. The mice had been genetically modified for the experiments, and it took years to produce them.

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NYU's hospital lost power shortly after Superstorm Sandy struck Monday night. When backup generators failed, the Manhattan hospital evacuated 300 patients. But the cells, tissues and animals were left to die. "It's so horrible, you don't even want to think about it," Michelle Krogsgaard, a cancer biologist at NYU's Smilow Research Center, told ABC News. "All the work we did, all the time and money, we're going to have to start all over."

The hospital is among the best research facilities in the country, but did not prepare to evacuate during the storm, reported.

Scientists told LiveScience that the consequences for medical research could reach far beyond just NYU.