Archive for Monday, September 27, 2010

KU’s Biodiversity Institute receives $3 million to update facilities

September 27, 2010


Kansas University’s Biodiversity Institute will be getting a nearly $3 million update to its aging and dilapidated facilities.

KU received $1.5 million in federal stimulus dollars from the National Science Foundation and matched it with $1.3 million of its own stimulus money allocated by the state for deferred maintenance needs.

And for Dyche Hall, which houses the institute, the money is sorely needed, said Leonard Krishtalka, director of the Biodiversity Institute.

“We will catapult from 19th century capacity laboratories and research facilities to state-of-the-art, 21st century facilities,” Krishtalka said.

The building — constructed in 1903 — will look the same from the outside, but inside, it will get a new heating and cooling system, plumbing and information technology system.

An old method of storing tissues in electrical freezers will be replaced with a new cryogenic facility that will use nitrogen to preserve tissues needed for research, Krishtalka said.

Under the previous system, an electrical failure had the potential to wipe out 25 or 30 years worth of research.

He said he was happy to have received the funding, and said he was pleased the NSF recognized what KU was able to accomplish already using outdated equipment.

“They fund the organizations that have proven their mettle,” he said.


anon1958 7 years, 6 months ago

An electrical failure would not wipe out the frozen tissue collection. A system to inject CO2 in the event of an electrical failure has been in place for many years. The plumbing, heating and air conditioning system is dilapidated but KU and the NSF has spent millions on IT at Dyche Hall.

The NSF has also poured millions down the toilet at the Biodiversity Center to develop computer programs for managing collections that even its own curators refused to use for years.

If Krishtalka tells you the sky is blue, my advice is to go outside and check.

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