Deadly Poison Discovered in UT Dorm

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AUSTIN -- A powdered substance found in a University of Texas at Austin dormitory has tested positive for the potentially deadly poison ricin, but no students have shown symptoms of exposure.

The student who found the substance and her roommate have been sent to a hospital for evaluation, a UT official says. But because people with ricin poisoning develop symptoms within a few hours of exposure, university officials are confident all the students will be fine.

The substance was sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. The incident was being investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Ricin is extracted from castor beans. It can be added to food or water, injected or sprayed as an aerosol. A small amount of ricin that is inhaled, injected or ingested can kill a person within 36 hours.