Just in case you get the wrong idea, we do not sit around sipping cocktails at the University of York. But why do we need ice? Well, it turns out that a lot of the materials we use for our research have to be kept on ice or they deteriorate badly – just think of the cooling required for organs in transplants, as they are rushed across the country. Many of the research materials we use – for example in gene editing – come in very small amounts and cost hundreds of pounds, and if we let them warm up, we might as well be burning £100 notes in the laboratory.
So why am I telling you this tale? We have our own laboratory icemaker to cope with demand. Or rather we DID have our own icemaker until it broke down about a month ago. It was almost 25 years old, – like me it was an old ‘Scotsman’ (the manufacturer) – and spares were no longer available. Sometime I feel the same! What you see in the photos is our very new replacement icemaker proudly sporting its Charity Soul badge.
I wanted to let you all know about this to show that research is not all about clever techniques, but uses some everyday things as well. In our day of need, the funds raised and provided by Charity Soul came to the rescue, and have saved us thousands of pounds in damaged materials. Not cutting edge perhaps, but definitely allowing us to do the cutting edge research I have described in the past. Everyone in my lab is grateful and relieved that the ice is flowing again. Now where did I put that cocktail?