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Updated: June 11, 2012 21:23 IST

Largest collection of brain samples to study autism damaged

PTI
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The loss of the brain tissue could set back autism research by a decade, says Carlos Pardo, associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University. File photo
AP The loss of the brain tissue could set back autism research by a decade, says Carlos Pardo, associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University. File photo

A third of the world’s largest collection of brain samples used for autism research have been damaged following a freezer malfunction at a Harvard-affiliated hospital, in what could be a major setback to the study of the disorder.

An official at the renowned brain bank in the McLean Hospital, Massachusetts, discovered that the freezer had shut down in late May, but did not trigger warning alarms.

The hospital authorities later found 150 thawed brains that had turned dark from decay; about a third of them were part of a collection of autism brains, reported the Boston Globe newspaper.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first three years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills, according to U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“This was a priceless collection. You can’t express its value in dollar amounts,” said Dr. Francine Benes, director of the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center.

The loss of the brain tissue could set back autism research by a decade, according to Carlos Pardo, associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University. He said the brains, “yield very, very important information that allows us to have a better understanding of what autism is, as well as the contribution of environmental and immune factors”.

The freezer was thought to have failed three days before it was discovered, but alarms failed to trigger and an external thermostat gave the incorrect temperature, the report said.

It contained 150 brain samples from people who had neurological conditions including autism, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.

it is very good.

from:  SAIPUSHPARAJ MIRIYALA
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 08:49 IST

Give more information about sports

from:  KARTHIK REDDY
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 08:32 IST

try to do next time scientists.

from:  veerendra
Posted on: Jun 13, 2012 at 08:16 IST

What the hell... it is better in India... eve with all the 24X7 black outs... our system works better...

from:  Hawala Guy
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 20:23 IST

Feel so sorry for the researchers of the disease. wonder how many of them have dedicated their lives and careers to understand the disease and what would be the impact of this unfortunate event on them. Not to forget the patients of the disease, whose cure could be set back due to this.

from:  Sankara
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 16:34 IST

What a loss!How careless the authorities can be in such advanced country blaming the machine for their mismanagement!It is not the machine error;it is human error in not detecting the malfunction of the machine immediately and rectify it.Science is at peril in the hands of such people as they could announce false findings and trigger panick in the world! Beware of such people!

from:  Rajendran
Posted on: Jun 12, 2012 at 09:24 IST
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