mercoledì 9 luglio 2014

NIH finds forgotten smallpox store

Smallpox, officially preserved in two repositories worldwide, may have been sitting alive and well in an unsecured US government refrigerator. On 8 July, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that vials containing the deadly virus had been discovered in a cardboard box in the refrigerator, located on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. That refrigerator belongs to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has conducted some of its research at the Bethesda site since 1972. On 1 July, FDA researchers discovered the vials — labelled "variola," the name of the virus that causes smallpox — while conducting an inventory of the lab in preparation for a move to FDA's headquarters in White Oak, Maryland. NIH safety officials determined that the virus had not leaked and there was no danger to the employees who had found it, and then sequestered the samples in a secure lab on campus, the agency said (read more)

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