Medical research samples collected for decades were destroyed at a Swedish university.

The samples, designated for scientific research at a prestigious Swedish medical university that scientists had collected for decades, were damaged during the Christmas holidays due to a malfunction in the refrigerator in which they were stored, according to a university announcement.

The samples were preserved at temperatures as low as minus 190 degrees Celsius inside tanks cooled by liquid nitrogen at the Karolinska Institute, an important medical university in Stockholm, and the headquarters of the Nobel Assembly, which is responsible for selecting the winner of the Nobel Prize. Is. Physiology or Medicine.

However, on 22 and 23 December, the supply of liquid nitrogen to 16 cryogenic tanks stopped.

The tanks could continue to operate for up to 4 days without a supply of liquid nitrogen, but in reality they remained without this substance for up to 5 days, causing spoilage of samples belonging to several institutions.

“It happened at the worst possible time in Sweden, just a day before Christmas Eve,” Matti Sahlberg, dean of the university's south campus, told AFP.

Some media reported that the estimated value of the damaged samples was around 500 million kroner ($47 million).

Salberg indicated that no official estimate has been made of the value of these specimens, but he confirmed that they are estimated to be worth millions.

“Most affected are researchers in the field of leukemia, as they collected samples from patients over a period of up to 30 years,” he said.

An internal investigation was launched at the university, and although there was no sign of sabotage, a report was also filed with the police.

Sahlberg said: “There is still no indication that the accident was caused by an external impact, but a police report is being prepared that addresses all hypotheses.”

All samples were solely for research purposes, so their loss should not affect the care of current patients, but were intended to be used in future research.

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