Freezer Failure at Autism Tissue Program: Autism Research Could Be Set Back Years
[Source: Disability Scoop]
In what could be a major blow to autism research efforts, scientists say that one-third of the world’s largest collection of autism brain samples has been damaged.
Officials at McLean Hospital, a Harvard affiliate near Boston, found that a freezer where the samples were housed failed in late May, according to a report in The Boston Globe. Two alarms designed to warn of freezer problems had not gone off even as the internal temperature rose and all of the 150 brains inside thawed.
Of them, 53 were intended for autism research, according to Autism Speaks, which runs the Autism Tissue Program that the samples are part of. The collection includes brain tissue from individuals with autism who have died.
Experts told the Boston Globe that the damaged brain samples represented a “priceless collection” and the loss could slow autism research efforts by a decade.
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What the McLean Brain Bank Malfunction Means for Autism Research