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Whoops! French Scientists Have Admitted to Misplacing Over 2,000 Vials of SARS

Maybe they needed a gaard. You know, a SARS gaard. A Peter Sarsgaard. OK, that's out of my system.


French scientists admitted on Monday to losing 2,349 vials of  the deadly SARS virus, so rejoice everyone! Comparatively, there is no way any of us can mess up at work ever again.

After performing a routine inventory at the prestigious Institut Pasteur in Paris, researchers realized upwards of 2,300 vials of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) were unaccounted for. France’s drug and health safety agency, l’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé, was called in to aid the search and probably remind the Institut that c’mon, guys—the vials didn’t just grow legs and walk away! You’d lose your gas mask if it wasn’t on your head!

From April 4th-12th, the health and safety agency conducted an “in depth investigation” (probably checking in hazmat suit pockets and under the bed), but the Institut was forced to announce on Monday that the missing vials were nowhere to be found. Although the virus is fatal in 10% of those who contract it, health officials are reassuring the public that there is zero risk of contamination. In a press release, the Institut said:

The tubes concerned have no infectious potential. Independent experts referred by health authorities have qualified the risk as “nil” in regards to available evidence and literature on the survival of the SAS virus.

This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard of the Institut Pasteur. Back in March, they revived a 30,000 year old virus from permafrost and said increased risk of plague was a possible threat posed by global warming, and in the 1980s they were one of the first labs to isolate HIV. You’d think it would be easy for them to find thousands of SARS samples in a single laboratory.

Don’t worry, guys. They’ll probably be in the last place you look.

(via The Local, image via Simon Liu)

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