On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that mice carrying Yersinia pestis ? the bacteria that cause bubonic plague -- had disappeared from a laboratory at the Public Health Research Institute, part of the campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The university says it does not know what happened to the mice, first discovered missing two weeks ago.According to the AP, health experts reassured that there was ?scant public risk.? That?s not what Robert Brubaker, a researcher at Michigan State University who works with Yersinia pestis and has studied it in its wild-type form, says. ?There certainly are scenarios where there could be incredible risk,? he told me over the phone. ?It is so serious, I frankly can?t believe the story that it happened at all.?Here are the risks, as Brubaker sees them:If the mice were eaten, the animals that ate them are likely infected...
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