100 of brain specimens have gone missing from the University of Texas. The University of Texas at Austin is investigating the case of loss of brain specimens that were part of the school’s resources for educational purposes. The curator and the University’s stance on the matter is only that they have gone missing.
Earlier on Wednesday the missing brain specimens were reported to be found at the Health Science Center of University of Texas, San Antonio. The creator of the Center’s brain bank confirmed that it did not have the Austin collection. There have also been suspicions and speculations that the missing brains have made their way to Harvard but nothing has been said for sure.
These brains were kept in glass jars with labels on them providing information of the diagnosis, date of death and identification. Some of these brains were harvested from autopsies dating back to the 1950s. Report is half of these brain specimens were transferred to the Animal Resource Center of the University of Texas at Austin in 1999 and some suspect that the half went missing around that time.
It is not the first time losing of brains took place at the campus, as within the lost collection of brains one was the brain of Charles Joseph Whitman. Whitman opened fired and killed 16 people at the University of Texas and wounded 32 on the afternoon of August 1st, 1966. On August 2, the autopsy of Whitman’s body was conducted. He had requested the autopsy in a suicidal note, as well. The autopsy findings included an Astrocytoma which was concluded not to have caused the previous day shooting spree. Whitman was killed by an Austin police officer.
These brain specimens were highly wanted by many other research Universities at the time when Texas University received these samples from the Austin State hospital. This transfer was made around two decades ago. Universities like Harvard were one on the list which greatly wanted to add these brains to its collection. The transfer included brains known to have suffered intriguing mental illness that many Universities wanted to add to their collection for study purposes.