NewsRADIATION POISONING

NIH Case Ends With Mysteries Unsolved

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Science  26 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5334, pp. 1920
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5334.1920a

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Summary

In June 1995, a pregnant scientist in a lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said she had been poisoned by a radioactive isotope, and 26 of her co-workers were subsequently found to have been contaminated as well. Last week, an investigation into this bizarre affair drew to a close, leaving many questions unanswered. In a decision issued on 17 September, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded that the radiation exposure of the scientist, Maryann Wenli Ma, and others was "deliberate." But it could not identify the perpetrator and offered no motive.