Scientists suggest that cancer is man–made. Cancer is a modern, man–made disease caused by environmental factors such as pollution and diet, a study review by University of Manchester scientists has strongly suggested.
It’s an ironic global security threat, but facilities meant to prevent and cure disease have sometimes inadvertently aided in its spread.
For instance, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) made headlines last month when an estimated 84 of its scientists were exposed to a live and potentially deadly strain of anthrax.
A second probe into the incident has discovered a number of additional lapses in the CDC’s handling of the situation, including the use of expired disinfectant, the transportation of dangerous materials in Ziploc bags, and the storage of anthrax in unlocked refrigerators in unrestricted hallways.
These lapses highlight the fact that even with labs with the highest level of precautions in place, human error can always lead to the unintentional spread of diseases. It’s a rare event, and the overwhelming majority of pathogens are responsibly stored. But there are a handful of examples throughout the past century of viruses inadvertently escaping from lab containment and entering the broader world.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently compiled a report reviewing five such events.