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University of Kansas completes KU Biodiversity Institute renovation
University of Kansas in the US has completed the $3.5 million renovation of the KU Biodiversity Institute, which has modernised laboratories in 110-year-old Dyche Hall for 21st century research and student training about the life of the planet.
Through a partnership of federal, state and private resources, the Biodiversity Institute has created eight new laboratory spaces that will increase the research capacity and capabilities of the institute.
The two-year renovation has created an integrated five-laboratory complex where students and faculty can extract and sequence genetic material in a clean, secure environment, and clone ancient DNA from the institute’s vast historical collections of animals and plants.
The renovation installed a liquid nitrogen cryogenic facility to preserve the institute’s irreplaceable and growing collection of tissues of worldwide animals and plants for genetic research.
Two new biotic analysis laboratories have been established for scientists and students to study and analyse an animal’s external, internal and skeletal anatomy with the most modern tools.
A modern Geographic Information Systems laboratory has been established for modeling and forecasting environmental phenomena, such as the potential spread of diseases and pests, and the effects of climate change on animals, plants and ecosystems, both past and present.
Apart from that a modern, five fold-larger data server room has been established to provide secure storage, computational analysis and global access to terabytes of biodiversity information.
The newly renovated facilities will enable the KU faculty, staff and students, and visiting scholars to conduct innovative research in biodiversity science. The National Science Foundation awarded the Biodiversity Institute $1.5 million for the project through a program titled Academic Research Infrastructure: Repair and Renovation. The institute was the nation’s only university biodiversity organisation chosen for such a project.