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Professor Macolm Casadaban of the University of Chicago has died in what appears to be an unusual accident. Reportedly the autoposy revealed that exposure to a weakened strain of the plague enterobacteria may have killed him.  (Source: University of Chicago)
Incident echoes death of Russian Cold War researcher

In 1988, 44-year-old Russian bioweapons researcher Dr. Nikolai Ustinov while working at Russia's Vector Institute on the Marburg virus, a potent pathogen, accidentally pricked himself with a needle he was using to inject guinea pigs.  The researcher was kept in quarantine, and he kept a detailed journal of his symptoms, even as his fingers bled onto the pages.  In the end he died and Russia harvested his blood to produce Variant U, named in his honor, which was one of the most pathogenic bioweapons to date.

Professor Malcolm J. Casadaban of the U. of C. Medical Center, a prestigious researcher with degrees from Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed a much different path -- one of medical research to prevent disease -- but has been found dead, presumably in a similar incident. 

The professor had been working with a weakened strain of plague bacteria to study its genetics.  In theory, the weakened version was harmless, but an autopsy of the 60-year-old molecular geneticist showed "no obvious cause of death".  What it did find was the presence of the weakened strain of the plague bacteria Yersinia pestis in his blood.  The strain has been Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for lab studies and is believed to be nonpathogenic, but some doctors are theorizing it might have killed Professor Casadaban.

Dr. Kenneth Alexander, a virologist and chief of pediatric infections at the U. of C. Medical Center says that its understandable that Professor Casadaban was exposed to the bacteria as it was assumed to be harmless and no special safety precautions were required to handle it. According to him, the typical procedure is to wear gloves, a lab coat and protective goggles, and the bacteria would be disposed of in a biohazard bag and heated for about two hours.

Officials are still trying to determine whether Professor Casadaban had any preexisting conditions that made him more susceptible to the strain, or if there was something different about the particular strain he was working with.  They have notified his close contacts and are working with the CDC to isolate them, as a precaution.

Dr. Alexander is at a loss about how the weakened strain could cause death.  He bemoans, "There's no indication thus far that this is anything different from the laboratory strain that we know it to be.  I can't find any reports of anything like this happening before."

His 21-year-old daughter Leigh Casadaban remarks on the tragic loss, stating, "[Dad] tried so hard to be healthy. He hated smoking. He would never even let us watch a movie with smoking in it. He never used alcohol."

Officials have reportedly found no evidence of foul play involved in the death.

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RE: Embarrassing
By rippleyaliens on 9/21/2009 12:42:02 PM , Rating: 4
WOW.. After reading the last 5 DailyTech articles, my brain has had enough. I sometimes would post, about some of the internet tough guys posting simple stuff, of "your wrong, im right" etc.. BUT WOW, DailyTech,
1. I hope these articles are not outsourced..
2. Please send your staff to some Writing courses, please..............
3. Make that investment into MS WORD 2007... However clumsy word is, it has this thing called SPELL CHECK, and GRAMMAR CHECK.

I can understand the spelling part, but wow, the grammar is just sick. (check meh spelling please).. Some of the articles with the poor grammar actually leads to totally different messages then what was SUPPOSED to be presented.

I know IT guys , from the get go, are not good writers per say, but geeze.. this is getting retarded.. IF they are not paid, then oh well,, Spell Check is like, FREEEEEEE.. BUT the other portions like proper grammar will be tough.. BUT IF THESE ARE PAID PROFESSIONALS.. WTF..

RE: Embarrassing
By DarkElfa on 9/21/09, Rating: 0
RE: Embarrassing
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 1:07:20 PM , Rating: 3
No DT is a news web site "clown shoe." There are blogs as well, but the majority of these articles are news stories, not blog entries.

I agree with the OP that the quality of DT articles is getting pretty bad lately. Barely professional if you ask me.

RE: Embarrassing
By epobirs on 9/21/2009 1:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
"Who went to school for this..."

Are you kidding? If any self-respecting high school teacher received this article as a student submission, it would come back covered in red marks. There is simply no excuse for such sloppiness. Review what you've written before posting. It's that simple.

This isn't just a blog. It is a business, and as such expected to meet some minimal standards of readability. The internet isn't lacking for competing sites that can take away readers not just on content but also the presentation of that content.

RE: Embarrassing
By DarkElfa on 9/21/2009 1:19:40 PM , Rating: 3
Sigh, fine if you guys would like to waste your time complaining about grammar than actually discussing the article at hand than so be it. I'm done trying to talk sense about it. This isn't a site I pay to read so I don't care what he misspells, I'm just happy I don't have to go everywhere to get my news interests. Personally, if I had as big of a problem with this as you seem to then I would talk to the managers and not assault the author in the article's thread which just makes you guys seem like petty losers who can't find anything reasonable to whine about so you pick the lowest form of criticism, the grammar complaint. Me, I'm not an English teacher and I'm not here to grade his paper, I'm here to read the article and his 5 or 6 misspells haven't caused me any issues.

RE: Embarrassing
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 1:59:03 PM , Rating: 1
I'm done trying to talk sense about it.
That's your opinion, sir, and some of us happen to disagree. You make it sound like you are stating some kind of fact.

And the other thing you're forgetting is that the errors run rampant on these articles. If there was just a small typo here or there, probably nobody would care. The problem is that they occur all the time, and I think a portion of the readership is getting annoyed by them.

RE: Embarrassing
By Alexstarfire on 9/21/2009 3:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
While I would usually agree..... what is there to discuss? There isn't really an issue that's being talked about, no new tech stuff, nothing controversial, etc... A guy died for some reason and the circumstances are a bit odd, but that's it. It doesn't even really tell you how he died.

The fact that the comments talk about grammar more than the article just shows that DT tries to play up news articles and that many on here have found that talking about the grammar as more interesting than the article itself. Can't really blame them since it's true a good bit of the time.

RE: Embarrassing
By lotharamious on 9/21/2009 2:23:35 PM , Rating: 1
These are blogs clown shoe, not newspaper articles.

And there it is folks. IT IS A BLOG! Check every one of Mr. Mick's articles. Every last one of them is a blog. I bet there's spelling and grammatical errors in your blog, too. Stop whining.

You all can bitch and moan all you want, but it is not supposed to be a "news article". It doesn't matter what he uses for sources since it's a blog. Give him a break. Everyone here talking about grammar this and spelling that needs to STFU. Corrections or clarification on information in the articles are always welcome, however. Please quit this nonsense.

RE: Embarrassing
By TomZ on 9/21/2009 2:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
DT is not a blog web site. It is a news site that also has blogs, just like every other news web site.

RE: Embarrassing
By sigmatau on 9/21/2009 3:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Who said DT was a blog website? Are you arguing with yourself now?

RE: Embarrassing
By TomZ on 9/22/2009 11:06:33 AM , Rating: 2
And there it is folks. IT IS A BLOG! Check every one of Mr. Mick's articles. Every last one of them is a blog. I bet there's spelling and grammatical errors in your blog, too.

RE: Embarrassing
By lycium on 9/21/2009 9:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
I bet there's spelling and grammatical errors in your blog, too.

i think you meant to say "there are", errors being plural and all ;)

of course there are other mistakes, but this one a wee kid might notice.

RE: Embarrassing
By Yawgm0th on 9/21/2009 1:22:33 PM , Rating: 4
I know IT guys , from the get go, are not good writers per say, but geeze..

I agree with your post entirely except for this. I take offense to that on two counts.

First, working in IT but having previously worked in journalism myself, I'd like to think I'm a darn decent writer. ;)

Second, most of the Dailytech staff has shown at best trivial IT/computer science knowledge, with certain offenders showing an alarming lack of understanding of their articles' subject matters. If it weren't for that pesky 1st Amendment, I might lobby Congress to revoke their privilege to write virtualization articles or even use the words "cloud" and "computing" in the same paragraph.

RE: Embarrassing
By drmo on 9/21/2009 1:36:37 PM , Rating: 3
I pasted this article into WORD, and it only got one grammar error: its (should be it's). So if the meaning of a sentence is wrong, then it is not due to grammar that is easily detected by a program.

Also, as far as the non-pathogenic vs. nonpathogenic, hyphens have been removed from many words. As the hyphenated constructions have become more used they eventually become accepted words and the hyphens are removed.

RE: Embarrassing
By omnicronx on 9/21/2009 2:40:30 PM , Rating: 4
You know.. I can stand the spelling/grammar errors, but if I see one more virtualization article, I may go on a killingspree..

RE: Embarrassing
By Robear on 9/21/2009 2:47:29 PM , Rating: 2
All criticism aside, I do think the responsible thing to do would be to have a professional editor review the content.

DT gets a lot of readers, and there's definitely a stigma of err with the articles of late. You can't be regarded as a professional news source with the glaring errors we've been seeing.

On a lighter note, I'm always impressed with the choice of images associated with the articles :)

RE: Embarrassing
By talozin on 9/21/2009 3:18:56 PM , Rating: 3
I know IT guys , from the get go, are not good writers per say, but geeze..

As an IT guy, I regret to inform you that you've touched on one of my pet peeves: it's "per se", from the Latin phrase meaning "by itself" or "by themselves."

RE: Embarrassing
By DarkElfa on 9/21/2009 4:34:27 PM , Rating: 2
People, look at the word next to Jason Mick's name. It says BLOG. How in your infinite search for typos did you manage to miss that?! I've noticed the names on here making the complaints and most of them are critics of Jason Mick's views, not his grammar. Like I said, you guys are trying to find fault with him and belittle his ideas and the only recourse your seem to have open to you is the petty act of grammar criticism. So in closing just let it go. Could the articles be proof read better? Sure they could, most articles on most sites could but we didn't need 15 people to point it out and turn 3/4 of the entire thread into a fight over proper grammar usage.

If you have a problem, contact the staff.

RE: Embarrassing
By jbartabas on 9/21/2009 4:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
People, look at the word next to Jason Mick's name. It says BLOG. How in your infinite search for typos did you manage to miss that?!

The (blog) is actually a link to a list of his blog posts. It does not mean anything else. Now click it, and tell us if you find the present piece in his blogs.

RE: Embarrassing
By molgenit on 9/24/2009 1:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
You really should look before you write. Blogs on this site clearly have the phrase Blog:section before the title. As another poster stated the small (blog) is simple a link to Jason's blog page.

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