Inside this tank 25,000 tiny tubes are available as storage space for cells used in scientific research. Cells are frozen using liquid nitrogen. This puts them in a state of suspended animation where most of the vital functions have shut down but the cell is still alive. Cryopreservation units like this one are used at the European Collection of Cell Cultures at Porton Down, Wiltshire, England. The collection is used to provide the scientific community with material for re-search, sending samples out by post or courier. It is also a reference collec-tion of 45 different species and at least 800 genetic disorders.
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Glossary: suspended animation
Glossary: cryopreservation unit
An area reserved for the preservation of tissue by freezing.
Basic unit of all living organisms, it can reproduce itself exactly.