And here I thought “Go on vacation for two weeks, and when you come home everything in your frig has turned into a science experiment” was a joke… From the Washington Post:
A government scientist cleaning out a storage room at a lab on the NIH Bethesda campus found decades-old vials of smallpox last week, the second incident involving the mishandling of a highly dangerous pathogen by a federal health agency in a month.
The vials, which appear to date from the 1950s, were flown Sunday night by government plane to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, officials said Tuesday. Initial testing confirmed the presence of smallpox virus DNA. Further testing, which could take up to two weeks, will determine whether the material is live. The samples will be destroyed after the testing is completed…
An FDA scientist found a cardboard box on July 1 containing glass vials, each several inches long, sealed with melted glass. The box was lined with cotton padding, Skinner said. Several vials were labeled flu virus or other specimens. Sixteen other vials were either labeled “variola,” or smallpox, or suspected of containing smallpox virus. All the vials were immediately secured in a containment laboratory on the NIH. The 16 suspect vials were flown to Atlanta. Testing confirmed the presence of smallpox virus DNA in six.
“This was a lab that didn’t realize it had these vials,” said Skinner. Because the vials are made of glass and sealed with melted glass, officials say the vials appear to date to the 1950s. He said the material could have been sitting around in the storage room “unbeknownst to the people up there for many years.”…
Apart from an uneasy feeling about those dusty shelves in the back of the garage, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
mai naem (mobile)
Obama s Katrina. Again. Impeach him. Darrell issas on the case already a la Inspector Clouseau.
Wow. Not much more to say.
On the other hand, this came across my FB today:
“All cats are libertarians. Completely dependent upon others, yet entirely convinced of their independence.” I came close to doing a spit-take.
I promise not to bring this up a lot, but just saying again since I posted it in a very late thread last night. I have two tickets for an upcoming SF Giants game to sell – Sunday, August 31 against the Brewers, two lower box seats. I’m selling them for face value, which is less than what they’re going for from the SFG site now (also it looks like you can’t get two LB seats together anymore). Plus that happens to be Star Wars Day at the game and you get an R2D2 knit cap :)
Anyone interested, lemme know – best way is on Twitter if you’re there (my name links to it), or I’ll check here too.
This is why you don’t open vials you find in the closet, kids.
Actually, that’s neat. Be able to do some great science and see how the virus has mutated over the last 60 years.
So life update: first, that issue with work I had going on last month is resolved. I canvassed everyone, spoke to my family, thought about it hard myself, and I determined that staying put was best. The head of our group took it better than I expected, and business, while not as good as it was in the first quarter, has picked up. Overall, I’m optimistic, and I think that this was the best decision for the foreseeable future (being the next 2-3 years). I’ll only get pessimistic if it seems that there is no clear hurdle/track to promotion.
Second update: I am vacating my apartment with nearly a year to go on the lease. Because our building was bought out and is being converted to a condo building, they are in the process of going floor-by-floor and demolishing everything. We negotiated 2 month’s of free rent, as well as a decent upfront cash payment, for us to terminate our lease by the end of August and move elsewhere. So: for those familiar with Manhattan, what neighborhood would you recommend to a late twenty-something who is going to be married? For me, the best apartments I’ve found so far are 1-bedrooms slightly west of Union Square (14th between 5th and 6th) and Chelsea (16th and 8th). Although the latter is a bit more expensive, to me, it is a dream location – 1 block from my favorite food market in NYC (Chelsea Market), 2 blocks from Montmartre (one of my favorite spots to eat, and home to one of the best burgers in NYC), and just a few blocks from Meatpacking/West Village, which has loads of delicious spots to eat at. I also feel like 14th Street, being a major two-way thoroughfare, will be quite a bit noisier.
Either way, I’m fairly certain we will be abandoning our not-quite-NoMad, not-quite-Gramercy, please-don’t-call-it-Murray Hill neighborhood at 27th and Lexington. It’s been a good 6-year run, but I think it’s time to find a different neighborhood now.
Does this mean that Darry Issa will now launch an investigation into the Eisenhower administration’s mishandling of the smallpox vials, since that was who was in office when the vials were sealed, lost, and forgotten? After all, Issa doesn’t believe government agencies can “accidentally lose” something as obviously important as emails or vials of highly infectious disease viruses.
We finally found Saddam’s WMDs!
@Baud: Or science projects from the refrigerator, especially irridescent green ones.
3 day old zygotes are people. 3 year old Latinos are not.
We know where they are. They’re in the area around Washington and Bethesda and east, west, south and north somewhat.
@David Koch: I’m pretty sure only white zygotes count as people.
Haha. Rachel is going to make fun of Tucker Carlson regarding Menendez.
2 months ago on draft day I said Manziel would be a disaster.
And now there’s photos of him snorting drugs in a bathroom
I blame Obama. Impeach!
@PsiFighter37: Only if they are male.
Le sigh. so I didn’t get the Microbiology I job applied for. The one I really wanted was was the one that was a BIG salary increase (GS12) The other one I applied for is basically the same salary I make now so it wouldn’t really worth another move or expense. I just applied for that as a safety net.
Oh well, I am glad I went for it. c’est la vie.
*The exact reason: “We have completed the review of your application for this position. Your application will receive no further consideration, for the following reason: IAOC You are outside the area of consideration*
@David Koch: I know he was a partyboy in school, but I thought he was smarter than that.
Lucky for him that there wasn’t a picture of him flat-out doing a line; that probably would get him banned under the substance-abuse policy. Either way, not a good omen. ‘Let Johnny be Johnny’ my ass.
It’s kinda disappointing. Obama found bin Laden, Al-Alwaki, Whitey Bulger, Ratko Mladić, Goran Hadzic, the Ben Gazzara mastermind, but he still hasn’t found Biggie and TuPac.
@Baud: She is doing quite a good job, unfortunately, it won’t be mentioned anywhere else.
You don’t think Newsmax will post a story?
So apparently if you’re over 40 and complain of digestive issues, the very first thought is always, Well, let’s shove a camera up your ass and see what’s going on up there. Though I have to wait for the scheduler to get the authorization from my insurance company before we can schedule the fun.
The Republican Messaging Machine and Fox News Messaging Machine (assuming there is a difference) typically run such tight operations…
…but Boehner may want to give Bill O’Reilly a call because the latter just said that Obama can change a law with the stroke of an Executive Order* (this was regarding some law that was passed in 2008 that is exacerbating the crisis with the Border Children). Oops!
*actually, I don’t think he can in this case, but IANAL
Hmmm, so this explains why so many RNWJ/Conserva-dummies always trying to come for FLOTUS!
HUFFPOLLSTER: Michelle Obama’s Ratings Are Breaking The Pattern For First Ladies
@lamh36: It’s Obama’s fault. I’m glad you went for it though. Remember if you do move to the Atlanta area, you have supporters and step family here.
@lamh36: I’m sorry you didn’t get it. Or even get the interview, right?
Do these words convey anything understandable to you, ’cause they sure don’t to me.
@Baud: Rachel Maddow thinks David Vitter, born again Christian, should be expelled for one little mistake. Yup, it might get mentioned.
efgoldman is probably right — they had enough candidates within the geographic area of the office that they didn’t need to consider anyone from another time zone. At least you went for it, though.
No, it means he’ll be investigating the Obama administration for their handling of the smallpox vials. You should know by now that it doesn’t matter to Issa that the problem was actually caused by a previous administration; everything is obviously Obama’s fault. If evidence of Obama’s personal malfeasance can’t be found, it’s obviously a sign of a coverup.
@David Koch: Are you doing repeat comments? (you slacker!) I swear there have been multiple comments from you lately that I have read before.
Also, too, if Yutsy is around, I’m here to make him jealous — not only did I get a hug from Le Grand Fromage today, I also got a Good to see you, sweetie.
I’ve only been anesthetized once (for my ACL replacement surgery) and it was no fun for anyone, especially the physical therapist I threw up on in the recovery room. I know it’s supposed to be shorter-acting drugs and more of a twilight sleep, but I have a sensitive tummy. That’s why I’m seeing a gastroenterologist!
Bummer. But you tried and now you know to use an accommodation address for the next time.
Karen in GA
I’ve gone and scarred Iggy for life.
Karen in GA
Karen in GA
@lamh36: Very sorry to hear this. If you don’t mind my asking, what’s your next step?
@JPL: @WaterGirl: @efgoldman:
Apparently it has nothing to do with geographyl. I had to google it too. Here’s what it means:
So I went back and looked at the vacancy announcement and apparently, I read this bit wrong :
Like I said, I applied for the GS9 position too, the beginning salary is pretty much what I currently make, the upper end of the salary range is only $10,000 more a year than I currently make. So to be honest with expenses of relocation and such, that amount isn’t really worth the trouble (I could find a PRN/PT position and make the same here in NOLA).
So pretty much, unless another higher than GS9 position becomes available again, it’s not worth it. I’ll still keep looking though, and hey I’m still going to HAWAII in November, so no sand faces for me.
@Mnemosyne: Who is the le grand fromage?
Hmm. It sounds as though, for that kind of job, they prefer to hire internally. It might be worth it to have a long-term plan to take a slightly lesser job at the CDC if that really is your ultimate goal, but it’s probably not worth taking the lateral move right now.
The guy who wears Hawaiian shirts every day. You know.
(Still trying to keep some discretion here.)
How’s about impeaching the impeachers?
As does cartoonist Scott Shaw! (the exclamation is legally a part of his name).
@Mnemosyne: Agreed. It’s the lateral move that I guess I object to. This will be like the 3rd time I’ve applied for a CDC job. We’ll see how the GS9 position works out, but the real incentive was the possibility of maybe getting a chance at an increased salary. The GS12 position was at least $20,000 more. Now THAT was an incentive.
I’ll still keep looking of course. You never know.
GHayduke (formerly lojasmo)
My first thought would be “elimination diet”.
@Mnemosyne: @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I’d second the recommendation for an elimination diet. Look around to see if you can find someone in your area who is trained to work with FODMAPs. You can do the elimination yourself but getting a professional to help you can save you time. A lot of gastroenterologists are using the FODMAP approach with their IBS patients and having good success.
I sympathize with the bad reaction to anesthesia. I had the same thing happen. Not good. Hopefully you can work something out with them on that front if you do go forward with it.
It’s funny, at least to me, that CDC/ATSDR is coming up in this discussion of the findings at Bethesda. I was on a team that did the first environmental audits at a facility in Atlanta that shall remain nameless back in the 1990’s, and we found all kinds of materials in the sub-sub-sub-basements that couldn’t be identified: Glass vials with Chinese writing that dated back to the Korean war, samples that were simply marked “Africa”, plus 10 years worth of filters from the positive-pressure labs, just stacked in a shut off corridor.
Labs with experts (are there any other kind?) are the worst: They are convinced that they know what they are doing so just shut up, OK?
On the job front, make sure you stay on top of the CPO job listings for Corps of Engineers labs. Lots of turn over in the next few years in the research community.
@GHayduke (formerly lojasmo):
I’m only 5 years short of the recommended baseline screening age and my dad did develop kidney and liver cancer (due to smoking), so the thinking seems to be that we should get it out of the way, especially if my insurance company will pay for it. They do have a dietician on staff, so that’s probably the next step.
I think I was “out” on the FODMAP concept when they said I can’t have asparagus, onions, corn or apples. Sorry, I’m willing to give up wheat, but you will pry the apples out of my cold, dead hands.
Maybe OT, but can anyone explain why the bankruptcy/closure of the Crumbs Bake Shop chain seems to be the biggest business news since Dow met Jones? Slow news day?
Personally, I’ll miss them: there was a Crumbs a couple of blocks stroll from where we live (UES), and I used to go there a lot for muffins till we got bored of them; but their belly-up made the (online) front page of the NY Times, it was on the BBC website FP, a couple of other Brit sites, all over Google News, etc. I understand the factors that led to their demise, but I find it curious that the BK of a regional cupcake company is getting the press I’d imagine from GM or Ford Chapter-7-ing…
Isn’t that a little misleading? I mean, the mishandling occurred decades ago, in what I’m guessing was the Eisenhower administration – not this month.
@Mnemosyne: Sounds like a good plan to get checked out since you’ve got family history. Anesthesia itself can mess with your gut so keep that in mind.
From what I understand, FODMAP elimination is for a short while then you reintroduce foods to see where the problem lies. You might be fine with some foods, even within a group of foods. Or you can tolerate small amounts but not tons.
Doctors hear that both of your parents died of cancer and all of a sudden they want to shove a camera up your butt. ;-)
I used to work in a lab that contained numerous other, smaller labs (though I am no scientist). We had lots of visiting scientists, grad students, undies students, post-docs, technicians in and out. Some of them have made very important, newsworthy discoveries. They were all diligent, meticulous people who …were human and subject to making errors.
Plus, freezers burn out. Equipment needs to be updated, replaced. Buildings need to be vacated, rebuilt on occasion. Aren’t you surprised that more bio hazards haven’t been newly found?
Another Holocene Human
Worked in a couple of labs over the years, somehow got roped into inventory/hazard labeling at more than one.
Every lab of a certain age accumulates ancient, super-dangerous substances, whether they’re insanely potent human carcinogens, acute poisons, super-reactive fire or explosion causers, or just slow environmental contaminants. Just pray there are no massive NEC earthquakes. Glass is pretty stable until it breaks.