Boston is a college town, and when the federal government shuts down it hits researchers at universities hard.

Many labs at universities in the Boston area were forced to close their doors on Tuesday, when the shutdown began and the National Institutes of Health suspended its operations (the NIH provides the majority of higher education research funding).

This undermines some long-term college and university projects. Dr. Simin Meydani, who heads up the USDA's Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts, said her lab has been forced to furlough 200 employees and they've had to put animal and human studies on hold.

“Maybe we can do that for a couple of days, but if it continues than we’re going to have to lose a lot of important and significant biological samples that we have worked very hard to collect. We are not going to be able to complete those studies and that is going to be a huge loss.”

Read the full story on WGBH's On Campus blog here.