News FocusJapan Disaster

Picking Up the Pieces at Ravaged Tohoku University

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Science  08 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6039, pp. 153-155
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6039.153

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Japan's education ministry has estimated that the 11 March earthquake and tsunami caused $664 million in damage to buildings and major facilities at 72 national universities and institutes. Money for repairs and new equipment is flowing, thanks to an emergency budget announced in April. For some scientists, resuming research simply meant waiting for utilities to come back online and cleaning up. But scores more face months of idleness. Some are waiting for major equipment to be restored (see sidebar). Others lost exceptional or irreplaceable samples and lab animals. For a few, the tsunami wiped out a lifetime of work. Many researchers are now thinking about what they can contribute to the restoration.