Lab rats and pathogens hit the road

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Lab rats and pathogens hit the road

Korea’s biggest private and state-run medical associations and companies are set to move to Osong Bio-Health Science Technopolis, Korea’s first medical complex in North Chung-cheong. Planning has begun on how to move laboratory animals, genetically modified animals and pathogenic bacteria.

The government estimates the total cost for moving will be 34.2 billion won ($30.6 million) and will take around two months. Around 1,800 five-ton trucks will be mobilized for the move between November and December after the medical complex construction is completed in October.

Over 2,900 laboratory animals are expected to be moved to Osong, including monkeys, guinea pigs, and mice. Rabbits and turkeys used for H1N1 influenza vaccine experiments will be put down before the move. Genetically modified animals created for research on curing chronic diseases will be shipped as 7,500 frozen fertilized eggs.

The organizations have to move 1,300 state-of-the art machines, such as gene amplification machines, in air-suspension trucks that minimize vibration on roads.

Kim said officials need to take extra caution moving dangerous pathogenic bacteria as they need refrigerated trucks to keep the bacteria below 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit).


By Kim Mi-ju, Kim Chung-soo [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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