Most bioresources cannot be re-created once they are destroyed or lost. Japan is prone to disasters such as earth quake and typhoon. One of most important mission for RIKEN BRC is to keep bioresources safely and securely for future use. For this mission, we have built and managed two secure depository systems.
Reinforcements of Tsukuba Campus Lifelines
Learned from catastrophic experiences in the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake on March 11th, 2011, reinforcements of these major life lines in Tsukuba Campus were implemented. First, electric generators and huge tanks containing both heavy and light fuel oil to keep producing enough electricity for few weeks were installed in precaution against blackout for long period. Second, for self sufficient water supply, a well was dug. A suspension of water supply is fatal to live stocks of mouse strains and experimental plants. And last, liquid nitrogen production machines were installed. All cell lines of human and animal origins, and embryos and sperms of almost all mouse strains have been kept frozen in liquid nitrogen tanks. Few weeks after the Great Eastern Earthquake, no liquid nitrogen was delivered due to the huge damage to the liquid nitrogen production plant. Therefore, we installed the production machines.
Backup Facility in RIKEN Harima Campus Far from Tsukuba
Long before the Great Earthquake, RIKEN BRC as a central repository of invaluable bioresources assumed that disaster might affect large area, not restricted local area. With help from Harima institute, in 2007, we installed eleven large liquid nitrogen tanks in RIKEN Harima campus which is most distant from the Tsukuba campus and on the firm ground. The tanks have been monitored by TV from Tsukuba campus. Now, at least a vial of all human and animal cell lines including iPS and ES cells, embryos and sperms of all mouse strains, microbes and plant seeds have been stored as backup.