London's biomedical behemoth opens its doors

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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 975-976
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6303.975

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The largest biomedical research building in Europe—the £650 million Francis Crick Institute in London—has nearly 93,000 square meters of floor space, top-flight instruments, a special lab for dangerous pathogens, and animal facilities with 35,000 cages. This week, the first of 1500 researchers and support staff begin moving in from two major biomedical institutes. Collaborators will join them from three universities in London and a pharmaceutical company. But the United Kingdom's vote in June to leave the European Union has dampened some of the elation. Restrictions on migration could make it more difficult to recruit from overseas, and limited access to EU research funds could squeeze the operating budget. Some domestic observers worry that it will suck up so much talent and funding that universities outside London will suffer, but supporters say the Crick will strengthen science nationwide.