Mailing frozen worms

Leon Avery leon at
Wed Aug 7 12:43:24 EST 1996

In article <4uadet$gi2 at>, phil at (Patrick Phillips) writes:
|> Now I have another question.  Is it possible to mail worms in a frozen
|> state?  Is dry ice cold enough to keep them intact for overnight
|> delivery?  Has anyone tried this, or must one use a vat of liquid
|> nitrogen in the back of a U-Haul like they did when the CGC moved to
|> Minnesota (obviously not too useful for getting worms from England)?
|> Thanks in advance.
|> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
|> Patrick C. Phillips               pphillips at

Like Thomas, I shipped my stocks across the Atlantic (Cambridge to
Dallas, in my case) on dry ice.  They were frozen in glycerol/soft
agar in the usual way.  I've used many of those tubes since -- they
survived fine.  That time I called the USDA in advance and got a
letter saying it was OK for me to take these across, had them shipped
by air, then flew over on the same plane.  I would advise, if you do
something like this, that you arrange for them to arrive in the
morning of a workday.  Mine were delayed and arrived late on a Friday,
and I had to arrange an overtime with a customs inspector to get them
out of bond.

I believe that since then the USDA ruled that C elegans can enter the
USA without special arrangements.  However, I would still give them a
call to check if it's a big shipment.  (Finding the right person to
ask may take some effort, though.)  For small shipments I figure what
they don't know won't hurt them, especially if it's something that can
easily be resent.

Leon Avery                                       (214) 648-2420 (office)
Department of Biochemistry                                -2768 (lab)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center           -8856 (fax)
5323 Harry Hines Blvd                            leon at
Dallas, TX  75235-9038        

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