By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One of Philadelphia’s gems gets a little more brilliant today with the opening of the new $100-million research tower of the Wistar Institute — where they’re trying something new to discover something new.

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The Robert and Penny Fox Tower is connected to Wistar’s two older buildings in many ways, but not in design of the research areas.

“We literally have half a football field, right next to me where my lab is, with four to five laboratories, completely open,” says deputy director of cancer research Frank Rauscher III, PhD. “We share equipment.  We share ideas and we share sometimes personal in terms of doing experiments.  It’s the only way to do it.”

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Frank Rauscher III, PhD (r) with colleague Dr. Jayashree Karar in the open lab. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

Frank Rauscher III, PhD (r) with colleague Dr. Jayashree Karar in the open lab. (Credit: John Ostapkovich)

The hope is intellectual cross-pollination to generate flashes of insight on the frontier of biomedical research, leading to breakthroughs that compartmentalized science might miss.

Instead of meeting at the water cooler, scientists might gather at the gene sequencer for conversation and inspiration to ensue.

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