Yale Student Dies when Lab Machine Contacts Hair

A student at Yale University died in lab when her hair was pulled into a piece of machine-shop equipment Wednesday, an official said, according to Minnesota Daily.

Michele Dufault was a senior majoring in astronomy. She died Thursday night " in what appears to have been a terrible accident involving a piece of equipment,'' school officials said. The school said the accident took place inside chemistry lab machine shop but didn't say what the machine was.

On Tuesday, just weeks from graduating, she toiled late at night inside a machine shop in a chemistry lab, as she had for weeks while working on her senior thesis: investigating the possible use of liquid helium for detecting dark matter particles. Ms. Dufault, 22, was killed when her hair became caught in the lathe, whose rotating axis is used to hold materials like wood or metal being shaped, reports NY Times.

Dufault was active in many areas including working on underwater robotic vehicles at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. She also traveled to Houston as part of a team of undergraduates chosen by NASA to perform a plasma physics experiment in reduced gravity.

"She was simply brilliant. Her mind , her sense of curiosity,her perceptiveness, her sensitivity," Noble and Greenough head of school Robert Henderson said according to Minnesota Daily.


Minnesota Daily Hard Copy

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This page contains a single entry by bess0057 published on April 14, 2011 8:43 PM.

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