Oops: Vial of deadly virus goes missing from secure biomedical lab
2013 03 25

By Erin Mulvaney | Houston Chronicle



A vial containing a potentially harmful virus has gone missing from a laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch, officials said.

The missing vial, which contains less than a quarter of a teaspoon of an infectious disease, had been stored in a locked freezer designed to handle biological material safely in the Galveston National Laboratory on UTMB’s campus, officials said.

During a routine internal inspection last week, UTMB officials realized one vial of a virus called Guanarito was not accounted for at the facility.

Scott Weaver, the laboratory’s scientific director, said Guanarito is an emerging disease that has caused deadly outbreaks in Venezuela.

The federal government prioritizes it for research because it has the potential to be used a weapon by terrorists.

On Tuesday, an investigator discovered that only four out of five vials were stored of the virus in the grid system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified immediately.

Wrongdoing unlikely

Lab officials searched but have not been able to locate the other vial.

UTMB said that there was no breach in the facility’s security and no indication that any wrongdoing was involved, according to the statement. Weaver said it was possible a vial could have stuck to a figure or a glove and fallen to the floor of the laboratory.

"The only way it could pose a risk is if it were stolen and that’s unlikely," Weaver said.

This marks the first time that any vial containing a select agent has been unaccounted for at UTMB, officials said.

"We don’t think anything that happened this past week endangers the community," Weaver said. "We think this is an error that any one facility is inevitable and we are going to improve to prevent this in the future."

Officials suspect that the virus was likely destroyed during the normal laboratory decontamination and cleaning process, but the investigation is ongoing.

[...]

Read the full article at: chron.com










Tune into Red Ice Radio:

<H.P. Albarelli Jr. - Germ Warfare, CIA, LSD and the Murder of Dr. Frank Olson

Peter Duesberg - The Invention of AIDS

David Icke - Swine Flu, Mass Vaccinations & G20

Dr. Leonard Horowitz - The Pharmaceutical Industry, Vaccines & Frequency 528

Catherine Austine Fitts - Swine Flu, Vaccination & The Economy





Related Articles
Scientists Creating New Materials...with Viruses?
U.S. virologists intentionally engineer super-deadly pandemic flu virus
Giant Viruses Are Ancient Living Organisms, Study Suggests
Researchers create genetically-modified version of the rabies virus - good idea?
13,000 got steroid shots suspected in meningitis outbreak, number of infected at 105
Gamers use PS3s to do biomedical research
Obama Opens Secret Laboratories to Germany
No More Excuses: Anthrax Case
FBI Closes Anthrax Case, Says Scientist Was Killer


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »