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A thief steals a MacBook containing a possible cure for cancer


There’s an old rule to backing up files: Have at least three copies of your data in multiple formats. That means at least one on-site backup and one off-site backup. These rules are doubly important if what you are storing is the cure for cancer! Sook Shin and husband Ralf Jankecht, leading cancer researchers at Oklahoma University, did not know or follow this rule. When the couple made a stop at a Panera in Oklahoma City, a white MacBook was stolen from their car. That MacBook contained the only copies of important prostate cancer research, reports CNET.

It seems almost hoax-like, but a local news station picked up the story. The burglar smashed a window in the couple’s car and ran off with the 13-inch white MacBook and the dark orange computer bag it was in. The couple is now offering $1,000 (no questions asked) for the laptop. “Thief, it is OK. Everybody makes mistakes,” is printed on flyers posted in local pawn shops.

“Please return the computer with the data saved,” Jankecht said. “This would tremendously help us and you would do something for society.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Last October, a professor had his laptop stolen. Luckily, in that case the thief was nice enough to put his unbacked data onto a flash drive and drop it off to him anonymously. Sook Shin can only hope her story turns out as fortunate.

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