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Scientists Observe Flaws In System To Protect Labs Against Biohazards

They acknowledge a laxness in following and monitoring research safety guidelines, which could pose a serious risk to some investigators Last spring, when eight students at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school went to the school's rural New Bolton Center to castrate some lambs, they considered it to be business as usual. Likewise for the parents and teachers of a nearby preschool class that visited and petted the sheep. What neither group knew was that just a month before, Jorge

Susan L-J Dickinson
They acknowledge a laxness in following and monitoring research safety guidelines, which could pose a serious risk to some investigators
Last spring, when eight students at the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary school went to the school's rural New Bolton Center to castrate some lambs, they considered it to be business as usual. Likewise for the parents and teachers of a nearby preschool class that visited and petted the sheep. What neither group knew was that just a month before, Jorge F. Ferrer, a professor of microbiology at the vet school, had inoculated 14 of the newborn lambs with live HTLV-1 virus, the microbe that causes adult T-cell leukemia in humans. According to the research project's approved protocol, Ferrer was to keep these animals segregated from the rest of the flock, away from exposure to the public and certainly identifiable to any individuals operating on the animals. But the lambs had...

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