Wednesday, February 17, 2010

scientists recent crime blotter

The Scientist | Last Friday, biology professor Amy Bishop shocked the country when she allegedly shot and killed three of her colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, purportedly motivated by the university's recent decision to deny her tenure. Although certainly one of the most heinous crimes in recent memory, it is by no means the first criminal offense to disturb the scientific community. Here is a timeline of some disquieting events from the last few years:

September 27, 2009: University of Maryland pharmacologist Clinton McCracken admitted to having bought a narcotic known as buprenorphine from an online company in the Philippines after his live-in fiancé, University of Maryland School of Medicine postdoc Carrie Elisabeth John, died of what was initially believed to be an overdose on the drug. Although John's autopsy later revealed that she had no drugs in her system -- instead, cause of death was attributed to an allergic reaction made worse by her asthma -- McCracken was charged with multiple drug offenses, to which he pled not guilty at a hearing last December. His trial is set for March 25 in Baltimore Circuit Court.

September 13, 2009: The body of 24-year-old Annie Le, a doctoral student at Yale School of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology, was found inside a wall in the laboratory building where she was last seen. Four days later, police arrested Yale lab tech Raymond J. Clark, III, who pled not guilty for her murder at his January 26 hearing. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 3, 2010 in New Haven.

August 26, 2009: Six Harvard University Medical School researchers found themselves in the emergency room after drinking coffee that turned out to be contaminated with sodium azide, a toxic preservative commonly used in scientific laboratories. Last month, Harvard police closed the active phase of their investigation without conclusion, leaving open the question of whether the poisoning was intentional or a result of poor lab safety. (plenty more at source)

2 comments:

Buprenorphine Abuse said...

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