Frozen Cells and Empty Cages: Researchers Struggle to Revive Stalled Experiments after the Lockdown

June 5, 2020

(Nature) – Niswander’s team is not the only one attempting to navigate the pandemic’s toll on months — and sometimes years — of labour. Coronavirus-related closures have forced researchers to downsize Drosophila colonies, kill laboratory animals and freeze delicate stem-cell lines or patient-derived samples. Getting those experiments up and running again will take time. Social-distancing guidelines will inevitably constrain the pace of research by limiting how many people can work at once, and strained supply chains and short-staffed shipping departments are likely to slow the flow of required materials.  For now, many researchers are easing back in simple ways: regrowing cell lines or animal colonies, or finishing off experiments that were nearly complete when they shut down.