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Alabama University's killer Prof triggered virus scare

world Updated: Feb 22, 2010 15:53 IST

Following the shootout that killed six people, including her Indian American boss GK Podilla, neuroscientist Amy Bishop triggered a 'herpes bomb' scare in her University prompting police to launch a combing operation.

Bishop's colleagues at University of Alabama's Department of Biology expressed fear that the Harvard-trained professor might have booby-trapped the science building with some sort of 'herpes bomb,' the New York Times said.

Police launched a combing operation after the suspicions were raised, but found nothing but a 9 mm handgun in the bathroom.

On February 13, Bishop went on a shooting rampage killing three biology professors, including Podilla, the department's chairman, and wounding three others, after she found that she had failed to gain tenure at the University.

People who had worked with Bishop said she had done work with the herpes virus as a post-doctoral student and had talked about how it could cause encephalitis.

Bishop had also written an unpublished novel in which a herpes-like virus spreads throughout the world, causing pregnant women to miscarry, according to the daily.

Bishop's lawyers have said that she does not recall shooting the biology professors and that he plans to have the troubled professor checked by psychiatrists.