Despite temperatures of 90 or more outside, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist and Lawton resident Joel Guthridge dons a heavy parka, thick gloves and protective goggles when he is in the OMRF Biorepository.
With temperatures as low as -80 Celsius or -112 Fahrenheit, the biorepository in Oklahoma City is a series of cold storage facilities housing about 1 million biological samples from thousands of donors over the last 30 years, said Guthridge, associate research member of the OMRF Arthritis & Clinical Immunology Research Program, who oversees the biorespository and its precious contents.
Important biological samples
The samples blood, tissue, saliva and other biological components are important for current and future research at OMRF and at research facilities across the country and the world, so proper preservation freezes a sample for future researchers, Guthridge said.
"Whenever a scientist does large-scale DNA testing to find genes that relate to a disease, like lupus or heart disease, they need samples from donors. In order to keep those samples in the best possible condition for testing, we divide them up into small quantities and keep them very, very cold."
More than samples are collected.