- Year of Death: 2009
- Experiment: Research On The Plague
- Cause of Death: Literally, The Plague
Malcolm Casadaban was an Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Microbiology for the University of Chicago. He notably did tests on several different pathogens and viruses in his career. A specialist in the field, it made sense then for him to do research on the bacterium that caused The Plague. Yes, THAT Plague. The question many had was how this possibly happened. Cadadaban knew the risks of the Plague and safely handled everything he worked with. So how did this result in Malcolm joining the killer science experiments list with his Plague experiment?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the incident, as they do with anything like this. They found that the strain that Casadaban used had never once been known to infect laboratory workers, as it was a genetically weakened strain. In fact, a strain like this might very well be used in a vaccination. The CDC found that the reason Malcolm died, however, was that he had undiagnosed hereditary hemochromatosis. This is a condition in which your body builds up too much iron and cannot get rid of it. Therefore, if even a small strain of the Plague attached to his blood’s iron, it could kill him.