Plague Bacteria Linked to Death of Scientist

University of Chicago geneticist exposed to weakened strain
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 10:26 AM CDT
Genetics researcher Malcolm Casadaban died Sept. 13 after being exposed to a weakened form of the bacteria that causes plague.   (AP Photo/University of Chicago Medical Center)
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(Newser) – A 60-year-old researcher at the University of Chicago died earlier this month from an infection that may have been set off by the bacteria that causes the plague. Malcolm Casadaban was working with a weakened strain of the bacteria that is normally harmless, and the CDC has been called in to investigate why he died. The university says that there is no threat to the public but has offered antibiotics to about 100 acquaintances of the victim.