When a human donor organ becomes available, transplant surgeons have only about 12 hours to collect and transplant the tissue before it breaks down. But a slow-cooling method that first chills rat livers and then drops the temperature to below freezing — allowing them to be stored in a \’supercooled\’ but non-frozen state — keeps them fresh for three days. If the method works for human organs, it could drastically increase the number that are available for transplantation.
But the gamble paid off. By 2004, Argentina’s economy had started to rebound and the president was pledging new investments in science and technology. Bragas returned to teach at the University of Buenos Aires and is now a nanoscientist at CONICET, Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council.
It takes a long time for a country to build a strong base in science, but only a short time to destroy it. Germany was a sad example. It was a world leader in the sciences for more than a century, until its science base was demolished during the Nazi era, and the country ceded its position to the United States. It has taken decades for Germany to rise again to its current level of excellence.