It's bad enough to throw your data away

If you're old enough or you've taken microbiology, there's a chance that sometime in your life you heard of Legionaire's disease.

This disease was caused a bacteria that inhabited the air conditioners in a hotel where several veterans held a conference. Naturally, it was the microbiologists who collected samples of the bacteria and figured out what was going on.

Now, there's something else going on and I'm thankful to Mike for letting us know.

In a strange twist of fate, those archives have been destroyed. And those weren't the only valuable samples.

Why? For what reason? I usually don't sign petitions but I know how much work goes into maintaining those culture collections and how valuable those collections are for medical research.

You can sign, too. You can help us find out what happened.

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IIRC, the ATCC has, more than once, arranged for the transfer of culture collections for preservation. They're handled differently than the ATCC main culture collection, but they're still preserved. Not that I'm the hugest fan of the ATCC (why I need to sign a MTA for a culture I purchase frustrates me to no end) but it's a better option than losing the entire collection completely.