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(Slate)   So, here's a look at how many viruses have escaped from labs over the years--and how it could happen again. Sleep tight   (slate.com) divider line 34
    More: Scary, history of viruses, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, military camp, flu pandemics, Fort Dix, smallpox  
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7676 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 4:10 AM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-13 11:18:36 PM  
Yeah, cuz if I want cutting edge scientific news, it's Slate all the way
 
2014-04-14 01:47:08 AM  
Eh, we need to thin the herd somehow.
 
2014-04-14 03:30:51 AM  
Don't let the old, black lady who talks to you in your dreams trick you.
 
2014-04-14 04:13:08 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Don't let the old, black lady who talks to you in your dreams trick you.


Listen to the cool white guy in Vegas instead--he loves science and gets all the techies.
 
2014-04-14 04:16:27 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Don't let the old, black lady who talks to you in your dreams trick you.


Meh. I never pay attention to any of those dream people. They're all full of shiat.
 
2014-04-14 04:17:24 AM  
Starting sentences with "so" is a virus.
 
2014-04-14 04:22:43 AM  
I thought the Outbreak movie with Dustin Hoffman  was pretty decent, skewed story aside. My son told me of a similar movie, more plausible, of pig farming in China starting a huge one. maybe not "12 Monkeys" bad, but bad nonetheless. And curse you, Paula Deen, and your Smithfield hams!
 
2014-04-14 04:26:27 AM  

Ex-Texan: I thought the Outbreak movie with Dustin Hoffman  was pretty decent, skewed story aside. My son told me of a similar movie, more plausible, of pig farming in China starting a huge one. maybe not "12 Monkeys" bad, but bad nonetheless. And curse you, Paula Deen, and your Smithfield hams!


"frkkatsu no hi " - "Day of Resurrection"?
 
2014-04-14 04:35:59 AM  
If I could sleep tight I wouldn't be commenting at 3:30 a.m.
 
2014-04-14 04:39:59 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Eh, we need to thin the herd somehow.


Good idea! You go first.

/I'm kidding sorta...
 
2014-04-14 04:49:47 AM  
Now you know it works.  Any questions?
 
2014-04-14 04:56:57 AM  
I developed swine flu while living on a farm, in 1998 . Kept my girlfriend up for nights on end, what with the oinking and squealing.
 
2014-04-14 05:25:30 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org

You want a scary medical 'what if' scenario? This one. Because it's the closest thing to fact Hollywood has churned out semi-recently.
 
2014-04-14 05:42:02 AM  
After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.
 
2014-04-14 05:48:40 AM  

Weatherkiss: [upload.wikimedia.org image 292x432]

You want a scary medical 'what if' scenario? This one. Because it's the closest thing to fact Hollywood has churned out semi-recently.


I started feeling sick just WATCHING that movie.

/M-O-O-N
 
2014-04-14 06:07:49 AM  

sand_in_my_vagoo: After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.


Ebola Reston.

Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.
 
2014-04-14 06:27:33 AM  

adragontattoo: sand_in_my_vagoo: After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.

Ebola Reston.

Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.


This isn't the movies or video games where the government has super top secret lab complexes in the far northern parts of Alaska in barren wasteland fenced off by barbed wire and elevators that will take you 50 feet below ground with an eye scanner.

This is real life where dumb politicians with dumb fiscal and budgetary policies run how the feds work, and it's cheaper and more efficient to just set up shop next to other farms -- particularly if it's from a state you represent and you're expected to bring home the bacon to your own constituents.

The government is either extremely shady and conspiratorial, or it's dumb and incompetent. It can't be both.
 
2014-04-14 07:13:35 AM  
Well, if you sick farkers would stop humping dogs, then viruses like canine syphilis wouldn't escape the lab, would they?
 
2014-04-14 07:19:20 AM  

Weatherkiss: adragontattoo: sand_in_my_vagoo: After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.

Ebola Reston.

Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.

This isn't the movies or video games where the government has super top secret lab complexes in the far northern parts of Alaska in barren wasteland fenced off by barbed wire and elevators that will take you 50 feet below ground with an eye scanner.

This is real life where dumb politicians with dumb fiscal and budgetary policies run how the feds work, and it's cheaper and more efficient to just set up shop next to other farms -- particularly if it's from a state you represent and you're expected to bring home the bacon to your own constituents.

The government is either extremely shady and conspiratorial, or it's dumb and incompetent. It can't be both.


Ebola in Reston was real, and not a gov't lab or conspiracy. A dealer in monkeys for medical testing had their stock riddled with it. The gov't actually cleaned it up -- though with plenty of incompetence and screw-ups along the way. (Go figure.)
 
2014-04-14 07:22:19 AM  

Weatherkiss: adragontattoo: sand_in_my_vagoo: After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.

Ebola Reston.

Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.

This isn't the movies or video games where the government has super top secret lab complexes in the far northern parts of Alaska in barren wasteland fenced off by barbed wire and elevators that will take you 50 feet below ground with an eye scanner.

This is real life where dumb politicians with dumb fiscal and budgetary policies run how the feds work, and it's cheaper and more efficient to just set up shop next to other farms -- particularly if it's from a state you represent and you're expected to bring home the bacon to your own constituents.

The government is either extremely shady and conspiratorial, or it's dumb and incompetent. It can't be both.


Said someone who never worked for the government. You can attempt to be shady and conspiratorial and royally fark that up. Or you can have some branches that are (NSA) and some that are just dumb and incompetent (ATF). It's not hard to do both.
 
2014-04-14 07:27:45 AM  

dittybopper: Well, if you sick farkers would stop humping dogs, then viruses like canine syphilis wouldn't escape the lab, would they?


Know where my handle comes from? It's a real disease and possibly communicable to humans.


/not that I have personal experience
//that's my story & I'm stickin to it
 
2014-04-14 07:33:51 AM  
There is a lot of fear mongering in this article.  They are talking about two different things: laboratory escapes and then at the end use a statistic about "releases"  Problem: they don't ever define what it means to have a release of a select agent.  Here's a hint: a release has nothing to do with whether or not an agent escapes the lab.

A "release" is when a select agent is spilled outside of primary containment.  This means everything from your laboratory escape they were talking about, to when you spill something outside of the container.  If it is a tube, that means you drop liquid out of a tube.  If its a flask, it could mean it dripped out of the lid.  These are all things that MUST be reported and are called "releases."

As you can see, there is a HUGE difference between a release and a laboratory escape.

/for the record, myself and those I know are also not exactly enamored with the idea of Plum Islands replacement being in the middle of Kansas.  Not just because you have highly contagious, potentially high impact agricultural diseases in the middle of the breadbasket, but also:
1)  You have to fly a lot of this junk TO kansas to study it...over the rest of the country.
2)  Tornados. (though they built a BSL-4 in freaking Galveston on a barrier island.  Hello hurricanes?)
 
2014-04-14 08:16:38 AM  

adragontattoo: Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.


Oh, crap!  I just started working in the Verizon building in Ashburn.   I guess it's within walking distance from here.
 
2014-04-14 08:31:37 AM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: Eh, we need to thin the herd somehow.


Escape, release, deliberately distributed for maximum dispersal, the result's the same. Mostly.
 
2014-04-14 09:29:12 AM  
rayemling.files.wordpress.com

Do you know what this place is? We protected the public from some very nasty stuff! Weaponized small pox! Ebola strains that could wipe out half the country! Stuff you don't want getting out, EVER!
 
2014-04-14 10:14:03 AM  

FatherChaos: [rayemling.files.wordpress.com image 320x240]

Do you know what this place is? We protected the public from some very nasty stuff! Weaponized small pox! Ebola strains that could wipe out half the country! Stuff you don't want getting out, EVER!


That quote was hilarious to me.  "So its the regular pathogenic ebola then, gotcha."

That and working with acid which can melt your gloves, sure, bright idea sunshine

The "oops I spilled a little.  Instead of easily disinfecting this stuff with a cheap and readily obtainable cleaner (which real labs have in the hundreds of gallons), I am going to INCINERATE EVERYTHING," was also massively funny.
 
2014-04-14 10:37:18 AM  
Ironically, the virulence of Ebola is what makes it tough to spread very far.  Incubation time is short and kills extremely fast.

It burns out it's potential hosts and dies within the population it infects.
 
2014-04-14 12:56:01 PM  
So did anyone notice on page two they were disinfecting the room with sprite and the guy on the right had his goggles on upside down. Crazy Asian
 
2014-04-14 01:13:14 PM  
www.ruthlessreviews.com
 
2014-04-14 01:14:07 PM  
t1.gstatic.com
 
2014-04-14 03:17:49 PM  
TheBlackFlag:

Ironically, the virulence of Ebola is what makes it tough to spread very far. Incubation time is short and kills extremely fast.

It burns out it's potential hosts and dies within the population it infects.


That's not as much a barrier as one might hope. I went trekking in Nepal a few years back and had a think on it... "Ok, I just spent weeks stomping around in areas where people regularly share house with poultry, bovines and primates, the perfect breeding ground for cross-species infections. I then sat around an airport in Kathmandu, a place not known for it's sanitation. I then got in a pressurized tube and flew to Dehli breathing recirculated air along with 100 other people. Then I sat around most of a day at one of the busiest airports in the world in order to spend another 15 hours rebreathing hundreds of people's breath to get to another airport, JFK in New York. Then I drove south, stopped at a rest stop on the NJ Turnpike to pee and order a Cinnabon. Then I drove to York, PA and stopped in a grocery store so someone from my party could stock up. Then I finally ended up in Washington, DC."

All of this within the incubation time for Ebola, much less something viral. Travel is what's going to screw us when something truly nasty comes along, it was the massive migration at the end of WWI that spread the Spanish Flu so far.
 
2014-04-14 05:05:55 PM  
FTA:  "because all circulating pathogens show genetic changes over time, the year that a particular example of a pathogen emerged can generally be determined"

Do said genetic changes occur at a fairly predictable rate?  HOW predictable?  I thought random chance mutations would play a role, and that in turn would affect the genetic change rate fairly unpredictably, at least in the short term?

This is something I've wondered about in the past, any bio-types want to take a crack at explaining it to a layman?

/been a long time since high-school bio
 
2014-04-14 07:46:25 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-04-14 08:10:39 PM  
I once went to a lecture given by Sergei Popov.  He works at George Mason University now, but he used to work for the Soviet Biological Weapons program.  It was the most terrifying presentation I have ever seen.  They were creating vaccine-resistant viruses and looking at combining things that were like Ebola with the plague (so if you treated the plague, you'd die of the virus, and if you didn't treat it, you'd die of the plague).  They had KGB constantly looking over their shoulder.  They were working on creating the most deadly thing possible, and they had no parallel program to protect Soviet soldiers because it would theoretically only be released overseas (because boats and planes aren't things that exist, apparently).  And when the USSR collapsed, a lot of things went missing (like the 20 tons of vaccine-resistant anthrax that are unaccounted-for).
 
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