Many news outlets covering the Houston flooding chose to highlight the loss of thousands of laboratory animals. However, The Scientist refocused the issue and covered the research opportunities that also were lost in the flood.1

The physical damages sustained by the research facilities amounted to almost $5 billion, but one can't assign a price tag to the research that has been destroyed and/or interrupted. How does one calculate the human costs of delayed therapies or even cures for diseases like cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, childhood diseases and heart disease?

While it is tragic that over 4,000 lab animals drowned in the Houston floods, the loss serves as an important reminder of the essential role animal-based biomedical research plays in developing a healthier nation.

It also underscores the role research plays in keeping local economies strong. The state of Texas receives more than $750 million in research funding each...

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