If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Biological Chemistry

Live Anthrax Shipped to California Lab

June 21, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 25

Five researchers at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California were exposed to live anthrax recently while working to develop a vaccine to protect children from this potentially deadly bacterial infection. The Oakland researchers thought they were working with an inactivated form of bacterium that they received from the Southern Research Institute's Frederick, Md., lab. The mistake became evident after mice injected with the bacterium began to die. None of the researchers has shown any symptoms of infection, but they are being treated with antibiotics as a precaution. The research institute is a mile from the hospital, so patients were never in any danger. Because of their expertise, FBI bioterrorism agents were called to remove the anthrax from the lab. Local and state health officials as well as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are investigating why the live anthrax was shipped to the California institute. SRI, which is registered with CDC to handle live anthrax, is also looking into the matter.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.