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Brazilian lab fire destroys leading snake collection

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posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:27 PM
The biodiversity we have lost here is astounding ...

Sao Paulo fire destroys one of the largest collections of dead snakes
Brazil police investigate cause of blaze which wiped out 85,000 dead snakes used to develop vaccines

Police in Sao Paulo were today investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed one of the world's largest collection of dead snakes.

The 85,000-strong snake collection, used by scientists to develop vaccines and medicines, was destroyed with an estimated 450,000 spider and scorpion specimens when fire swept through the Butantan Institute's archive.

"We have lost everything and this is a loss for humanity," the collection's curator, Francisco Franco, told the Agencia Brasil news agency. "The snakes … were used as the basis for studies and to increase our knowledge of the biodiversity of snakes. All of the snakes were lost. Today there is nothing left."

The destruction of rain forests and this matter seem to go hand-in-hand well enough. We're losing living species, and with every incidence like this, we lose the working knowledge of those species once alive. Our biodiversity has shrunk again, the way of the potato. (We used to have hundreds of varieties).

Then again, how linked was this to vaccines, such as H1N1 as the article mentions? Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:31 PM
Surely this was an accidental fire? Has there been anything to indicate it was set intentionally?

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:40 PM

A firefighter said the flammable liquid used to preserve the specimens helped spread the fire.

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

Some of the specimens in the 100-year-old collection were of rare or extinct species.

The dead specimens were preserved in flammable liquids, which contributed to the spread of the fire, firefighter Captain Miguel Jodas told local media.

The fire did not hurt any humans or live animals.

Institute officials said they are working on a plan to rebuild the collection.

If it was on purpose, it looks like it will be a non-political coverup. I think a look back at it's past value and use might show up something? Just a hunch.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 07:46 PM
I would say it has the trappings of a conspiracy. They were developing the H1N1 vaccine (for Brazil?) from these labs ... I'm not trying to make something from nothing though.

The whole building was consumed by flames from an upper floor, while inside the thousands of reptiles preserved in formalin for scientific experiments were reduced to ashes.

Firefighters suspect that the cause of the disaster could have been a short circuit, though the investigation will take several weeks.


Recently the Butantan has also been the public agency charged with developing the vaccine against the AH1N1 swine flu virus in Brazil from a sample provided by France’s Sanofi Pasteur laboratory.

posted on May, 16 2010 @ 08:23 PM
Why would anyone care about a bunch of snakes?

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