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Rebuilding and Reflection

Researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Center are working to restore their mouse colonies following their loss during Hurricane Sandy, reports the Associated Press. The storm caused flooding of the medical center's basement where the animals (as well as the building's emergency generators) were housed. Shortly after the storm, NYU neurobiologist Gordon Fishell told the Nature News Blog that he'd lost 40 strains of mice, or 2,500 individuals, but that his colleagues in the region had been in touch, telling him they'd help him rebuild.

Such rebuilding is underway, the AP adds, but it will take time. "But it's not as easy as just shipping mice to New York. The mice at NYU live in a super-clean environment, and those imported from other labs carry a risk of contamination," the AP notes. "So scientists use them to create a new generation of animals that are quarantined and checked for germs before they enter their NYU home."

Sergei Koralov says he lost about 600 mice that he was using to study genetic changes in white blood cells and how those changes related to lymphoma development. While he is rebuilding his mouse colonies, he is also taking another look at his research. "The silver lining of the whole storm, what little there is, is the fact it allows me to refocus myself," he tells the AP. Koralov plans to "go after what is interesting to me now, not what was interesting to me two years ago."