Still no bioterror work at Texas A&M

Research on bioterrorist agents at Texas A&M University is linkurl:still suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53600/ due to breaches in biosafety practices, although the university said last year it expected to be cleared to continue such work by the end of 2007. "The program continues to be on hold," Sherylon Carroll of the university's press office told The Scientist. "We are waiting for feedback from the Centers for Disease Control."

By | January 2, 2008

Research on bioterrorist agents at Texas A&M University is linkurl:still suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53600/ due to breaches in biosafety practices, although the university said last year it expected to be cleared to continue such work by the end of 2007. "The program continues to be on hold," Sherylon Carroll of the university's press office told The Scientist. "We are waiting for feedback from the Centers for Disease Control." The CDC suspended the university's bioterrorism research last year, after it emerged that a lab working with Brucella failed to report a worker's exposure to the pathogen. The finding led to a linkurl:flurry of revelations;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53673/ about biosafety lapses in academic labs around the country. The Dallas Morning News linkurl:reported;http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/122707dntexa&mbiolabs.2d386e2.html last week that the agency has given Texas A&M no information about when the university might restart the research program. "They have given us absolutely no clue or sign as to when this thing will be resolved," the university's deputy chancellor, Jay Kimbrough, told the newspaper. A CDC representative told the newspaper that the investigation was still open, and did not give a timeframe for its resolution. Nor has the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General informed the university how much it would be fined for its biosafety problems. In September, a University of California lab was linkurl:fined $450,000;http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/enforcement/administrative/cmp/cmpitems.html#6 for incorrectly shipping anthrax to another lab.

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