Thursday, November 10, 2005

ENGINEERING A DISASTER: CDC TO ALLOW 1918 KILLER VIRUS OFF CAMPUS!

Are we being set up here? Why are we asking for trouble with this? Two words: Stu.Pid.
Federal scientists say they will consider requests to ship the recently recreated 1918 killer flu virus to select U.S. research labs.

There are 300 non-government research labs registered to work with deadly germs like the Spanish flu, which killed millions of people worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider requests for samples from those labs "on a case-by-case basis," CDC spokesman Von Roebuck said Wednesday.

Dangerous biological agents are routinely shipped through commercial carriers like FedEx or DHL, following government packaging, safety and security guidelines.

Last month, U.S. scientists announced they had created — from scratch — the 1918 virus. It was the first time an infectious agent behind a historic global epidemic had ever been reconstructed.

Researchers said they believed it would help them develop defenses against the threat of a future pandemic evolving from bird flu, which was found to have similar characteristics as the 1918 virus.

About 10 vials of virus were created, each containing about 10 million infectious virus particles. CDC officials said at the time the particles would be stored at a CDC facility in Atlanta, and that there were no plans to send samples off campus.