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The University of Texas says that 100 human brains it reported missing earlier this week were in fact destroyed over a decade ago. Environmental workers disposed of the brains in 2002, after it was determined that they were in poor condition and no longer suitable for use in research or teaching.
News of the brains´ disappearance spread this week, and lead to speculation from some faculty members that the disappearance may have been the work of pranksters.
The brains were donated to the university by Austin State Hospital, a psychiatric institution, in the 1980s. It was believed that one of the brains donated belonged to Charles Whitman, who killed 16 people in a 1966 sniper attack from the university´s clock tower. But university officials told the Los Angeles Times that there was no evidence Whitman´s brain was among those donated to the school.
The university said it would continue to investigate the decision to dispose of the brains and the handling of the remaining specimens in the collection, according to Reuters.