Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Why humans should not be trusted with dangerous toys

5,000 labs told to destroy vials of pandemic flu strain
At the urging of global health authorities, scientists were scrambling Tuesday to destroy vials of a pandemic flu strain sent to labs in 18 countries as part of routine testing.

The rush, urged by the World Health Organization, was sparked by a slim risk that the samples could spark a global flu epidemic. The vials of virus sent by a U.S. company went to nearly 5,000 labs, mostly in the United States, officials said....

...It was not clear why the 1957 pandemic strain, which killed between 1 million and 4 million people, was in the proficiency test kits routinely sent to labs...
This is what happens when one has to deal with human beings. They make silly bureaucratic mistakes. Twenty years from now it will be samples of the 1915 pandemic strain sent to high school bioengineering classes by mistake.

How the heck are we going to survive the next 100 years?

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