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French institute Luj Paster has admitted losing more than 2,300 samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus. Researchers revealed yesterday that 26 boxes, containing 2,349 vials of the disease, had gone missing from Institut Pasteur in Paris. Alarmingly, they only discovered the samples had vanished after carrying out a routine inventory.
But they have been quick to reassure the public the vials do not pose a health risk - saying the contain only fragments of the virus, and therefore cannot pass on the infection. 'The tubes concerned have no infectious potential,' a statement from the institute said.
Researchers believe the samples may have been destroyed - either by accident, or without any record having been made. 'The theory of human error is the most probable, but we are not ruling anything out,' said Christian Bréchot, director general of the institute.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, is a contagious respiratory illness that first appeared in China in November 2002, when it killed 775 people and infected around 8,000.
reply to post by xavi1000
Scary! Ok, they say they don't pose a risk as they only contain fragments of the virus but I ask: what if they end up in the hands of biochemists or scientists? Could they reproduce the fragments into whole viruses?
originally posted by: Rodinus
originally posted by: rickymouse
reply to post by Rodinus
Did you work with this system at all? www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
No, I worked with another team :
This new article seems to be related to the article from oxfordjournals you posted. www.sciencedaily.com...