Plague mice on the lam in Jersey

Camus, Camus, wherever you are.

In an incident that could have been part of a lost chapter in "The Plague," Albert Camus' existentialist take on how people respond to a nasty bout of infectious disease, three plague-infected mice have gone missing from a bioterror research facility in Newark, N.J. Researchers lost track of the bubonic rodents more than two weeks ago, according to a report Friday in the Star-Ledger.

Don't panic just yet, however. Experts tell the newspaper that even if the mice did escape the Public Health Research Institute, the danger to the general populace is--probably--minimal. Still, the story points to broader concerns about what it depicts as a distressingly unregulated building boom in biological-warfare research centers across the country.

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About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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