Grab your apocalyptic go-bag, a vial of deadly virus from bioterror lab went missing

Lab vials

This is it, guys. The moment we’ve been watching in movies, television shows, and video games is about to unveil before our very eyes. A vial of a potential bioterror virus has vanished from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Officials at the lab report no security breach, though they cannot confirm what happened to the vial containing the deadly Guanarito virus.

Guanarito virus, if you’re unfamiliar, has been know to cause hemorrhagic fever. It’s similar to the Ebola virus, with symptoms like bleeding under the skin, in internal organs, or from body orifices like the mouth, eyes, or ears. Originated from Venezuela, the naturally-formed virus is transmitted only through contacts with local rats, or by breathing soil particles contaminated with the rats’ excrements. There is currently no vaccination or treatment against the infection.

Galveston National Laboratory Texas labNow, I see you clenching that gas mask and dialing your local rat exterminators, but it’s going to be okay… I think. Lab officials say they do not believe the strain will survive in American rodents (hallelujah, artery-clogging fast food getting in the way!) or transfer between human. The incident was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with no suspicion of any real danger. “They did not consider this a public health threat or a potential theft,” said Scott Weaver, the Galveston lab’s scientific director. But is it just what the big guys are telling us? “We certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position where anybody in the community felt we were trying to cover anything up.” HMM, okay.

The CDC did not release an official statement, but did note that the FBI has been informed. Still, Weaver does not anticipate that anyone would want to take such an obscure virus. “Even among the scientific community, a lot of people haven’t heard of this virus… It just doesn’t seem like the virus anybody would want to steal.” The team says the vial may have been accidentally destroyed during cleaning or the vial was part of an incorrect inventory, but again, nothing can be confirmed.

We’re probably pretty safe if these guys are to be trusted. But my Walking Dead-obsessed* senses are tingling, and something tells me it’s time to grab your apocalyptic go-bag and prepare against any pale strangers sniffing a bit too close to your delicious skin. Those looking to invest in a full anti-zombie survival kit can do so for the reasonable price of $24,000.

*Okay, The Walking Dead is a fictional show, and I’m not trying to get your paranoia in a twist. I’m sure we’re fine, wash your hands regularly, and please don’t spend $24k on holographic rifles just because I said so.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/originalpunkt


I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.

Here’s everything we know about the zombie-infested, survival horror Days Gone

Days Gone, the first PS4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s space observatory will map the sky with unprecedented detail

NASA is preparing to launch a cutting-edge space observatory to create the most detailed map ever produced of the sky. Doing so will involve surveying hundreds of millions of galaxies. Here's how it plans to do it.
Smart Home

No strings attached: This levitating lamp uses science to defy gravity

Now on Kickstarter, the Levia lamp is a cool industrial-looking lamp which boasts a levitating bulb. Looking for a table light that will dazzle visitors? You've come to the right place.
Emerging Tech

The Great White Shark’s genome has been decoded, and it could help us end cancer

In a significant step for marine and genetic science, researchers have decoded the genome of the great white shark. The genetic code revealed a wealth of insight into what makes these creatures so successful from an evolutionary standpoint.
Emerging Tech

‘Guerrilla rainstorm’ warning system aims to prevent soakings, or worse

Japanese researchers have created a "guerrilla rainstorm" early-warning system aimed at preventing severe soakings, or worse. The team hopes to launch the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Emerging Tech

Japanese spacecraft will collect a sample from asteroid Ryugu by shooting at it

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will soon touch down on the asteroid Ryugu, where it will collect a sample by shooting a bullet into the soil. The sample will be returned to Earth in 2020 to learn about the formation of asteroids.
Emerging Tech

Hong Kong’s vision for a smart prison is a full-blown Orwellian nightmare

Hong Kong wants to bring prisons up to date by introducing new location-tracking wristbands for inmates, and a robot arm whose job is to comb through poop on the lookout for contraband.
Emerging Tech

No faking! Doctors can now objectively measure how much pain you’re in

Researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered the blood biomarkers that can objectively reveal just how much pain a patient is in. Here's why that's so important.
Emerging Tech

SeaBubbles’ new electric hydrofoil boat is the aquatic equivalent of a Tesla

What do you get if you combine a Tesla, a flying car, and a sleek boat? Probably something a bit like SeaBubbles, the French "flying" boat startup which offers a fresh spin on the hydrofoil.
Emerging Tech

We tried a $500 electronic dab rig, and now we can’t go back to normal vaporizers

Induction heating is the future of cannabis vaporizers. Loto Labs wowed us with what likely is the best concentrate vaporizer on the market today. With a $500 price tag, it's expensive, but it should definitely be your next dab rig.