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In London, under the supervision of Professor Sewell, a group of dedicated British scientists have developed a serum which they believe could be used to stamp out typhus and bubonic epidemics. Because the serum involves using a particularly virulent germ that could be used by an enemy power for germ warfare, the minister of defense denies Sewell permission to publish his findings under the Official Secrets Act. Sewell accepts the decision, albeit angrily, but one of his assistants, Bob Marriott, is less resigned. Marriott is further troubled by his frustrated love for Lucy Byrne, a co-scientist tied to her former fiancé, Alan Andrews, an armless and embittered Korean war veteran. Alan learns Marriott is indignant over the Ministry's decision, and he puts him in touch with Mr. Brown, a shady individual who claims he can get the research papers published by an "international scientific exchange." Satisfied that he has had his revenge on humanity, Alan kills himself. Though Sewell catches Marriott stealing the secret file, he protects him from security officers who have been investigating Brown's connections. Realizing his error, Marriott aids the security men in trapping Brown and his confederates; and free of guilt, he prepares for a peaceful future with Lucy.