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American institute on insect study seeks help online amid imminent insect archive closure

The Invertebrate Studies Institute in Oklahoma, USA sought help through a Facebook post for their frozen insect specimen archive which is bound to be entirely discontinued and will be thrown in a dumpster on January 27.

According to the post, their archive, which is stored in a freezer that can reach temperatures of up to negative 80 degrees Celsius, contains lab-grown “insect specimens from all over the world,” previously displayed in their now-closed insect zoo.

“Years of work and thousands of dollars and research going into the trash. Please help.” The post read.

The ISI is in need of a volunteer facility or individual who has sockets compatible with their freezer’s plug and can supply power for a few weeks until an alternative solution has been found.

The comments section was flooded with suggestions and well wishes. One social media user offered to power their freezer at no cost although in a different state.

ISI Comment 1

Another emphasized the need to value small works that aid in bigger endeavors.

ISI Comment 2

A user who shared they’re an Oklahoma City resident was also willing to plug in ISI’s freezer.

ISI Comment 3

ISI is a non-profit organization that needs to keep its specimens frozen for future use. Their research and mission includes sequencing and publishing the genomes of all insect species on Earth.

ISI states that invertebrates—animals that don’t have a backbone or bony skeleton as defined by National Geographic—comprise the “largest and most diverse group of organisms” on the planet. Currently, there are about 1 million invertebrate species identified and named, while estimates show there are 3 million to 40 million species of insects on Earth, most of which are yet to fully studied.

Inverterbrates compose 97 percent of all living animals in the world which ranges from microscopic mites almost invisible flies to giant squid with soccer-ball-size eyes according to National Geographic.

On their website, ISI explains that through exploring the chemical and genetic makeup of insects and their defense systems may lead to the discovery of new compunds useful in manufacturing new antibiotics, antivirals, and cancer-fighting therapies.

ISI currently has three key persons namely its founder and president and chair of the board Doctor Aaron Dossey who is a Biochemist, Biomedical Scientist, and self-taught Entomologist, its vice president Doctor Fu-Chyun “Clay” Chu also an Entomologist and Plant Pathologist, and its Secretary Troy Cross.


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