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.
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.
Seven Points of Agreement Between Individuals 2014 10 02
In what follows, underlined words are my modifications to the original (cite given at the end) "Seven Points of Agreement Between Individuals" -- a binding contract entered into by individuals with other individuals so as to create a society within which individual sovereignty is upheld. These agreements are thought by the author of the book within which they appear to ...
If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice? 2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be.
Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression? 2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years.
On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work.
Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain.
This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police 2014 09 30 Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election
Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives.
They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...