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USA. A major research project destroyed by a cleaner shut down a refrigerator with valuable samples

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An irresponsible cleaner destroyed samples of decades-old research at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He turned off the lab freezer containing the key samples because it was making an “annoying” sound. Despite the warning on the machine.

The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private school in Troy, New York, is suing the cleaning company that hired the person responsible for destroying decades of research work.

A cleaning worker turned off a laboratory freezer where key samples were stored at -80 degrees Celsius. Due to the shutdown of the machine and, as a result, an increase in temperature, these samples lost their properties. According to the institution, the school suffered a million dollars in damage, the BBC reported.

Wasted research

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A lawyer for the Institute wrote in a lawsuit against a cleaning company that research on photosynthesis may have turned out to be “groundbreaking” in the further development of solar panels.

A few days before the freezer was turned off, an alarm went off warning of a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius, the lawsuit said. It was then determined that raising the temperature to this level did not threaten the culture of cells and samples.

Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteShutterstock

Since it would take a week for repairs to begin on the freezer, a sign was hung on the door of the freezer advising how to silence the noise. The memo indicated that the freezer should not be moved or unplugged, and “no cleaning is required at this location.”

Cleaner was bothered by “annoying alarms”

In order to silence the alarm, a certain button had to be pressed for 5-10 seconds. However, the cleaner pressed the button responsible for turning off the freezer completely. Due to the shutdown of the freezer, the temperature in the machine rose to -30 degrees Celsius. As a result, according to the lawsuit, most of the samples were destroyed.

The institute’s lawyer said a cleaning company employee admitted hearing “annoying alarms” and lawyers who questioned him said he “still doesn’t seem to believe he’s done anything wrong.”

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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