Medicine: Bottled Death

The story of a lethal genie that can live in a test tube for 20 years and, when uncorked, can kill again was told in Public Health Reports last week by Dr. Edward Francis. The genie is the bubonic-plague bacillus.

The particular bacillus used in Dr. Francis' experiment was taken in 1923 from a sick California ground squirrel. It was used to inoculate 48 test tubes partly filled with beef infusion agar jelly. The tubes were tightly sealed to insure a moist atmosphere and stored at a temperature of 50° F.

That was all the coddling the bacillus rot, but that was enough....

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