Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Pressure Grows for FBI's Anthrax Evidence"--NY Times

The NY Times' Scott Shane and Nicholas Wade are drilling down on the essentials, elaborating on who had access to the particular anthrax found in Ivins' lab and, purportedly, the letters:
But at least 10 scientists had regular access to the laboratory and its anthrax stock — and possibly quite a few more, counting visitors from other institutions, and workers at laboratories in Ohio and New Mexico that had received anthrax samples from the flask at the Army laboratory.
Good work on this! Let me reiterate: No matter how good the microbial forensics may be, they can only, at best, link the anthrax to a particular strain and lab. They cannot link it to any individual.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work on this, doc. Invaluable, and we can only hope the MSM pays attention to your criticisms. I don't have much hope of that, myself. BTW, you're pretty good at this, so you might consider a second career as an investigative journalist. We can always use more with professional expertise.

Anonymous said...

Meryl, thank you for this blog. Keep it going.

sdemetri said...

Here is Scott Shane's Baltimore Sun article from Dec, 2001:


It seems to have information that is still relevant, particularly how loose security was prior to 9/11 and the anthrax attacks and the often undocumented manner in which the Ames was shared among labs.

Jim White said...

Dr. Nass,

With the leak in this same article in the Times that Ivins had an ongoing alcohol problem, doesn't that make it even more unfortunate that a full autopsy was not carried out? Wouldn't that allow verification of an ongoing alcohol addiction and be necessary for establishing how sensitive he would have been to acetamenophen toxicity?

Anonymous said...

They had to find a "fall guy" so he was there(FBI) best candidate for closing this long dragged out case.

Washingtons Blog said...

Dr. Nass,

You were quoted today in Time Magazine, which also has a very important point about why finding the exact strain in Dr. Ivins' lab is no big deal:

Here's the story.

Warm Regards,

Anonymous said...

Dr. Nass,

I'm sure you have read this article from Wash. Post. It discusses Bruce Ivins acquiring a lyopholizer in the fall of 2001. Weren't the bulk of the letters mailed on Sept. 18th? That is still summer.

Can you find a more accurate date for when Bruce Ivins had the lyopholizer? I have not up to this point.


Gryphen said...

Dr. Nass it appears that the FBI is ready to lay out their case tomorrow.

From what I have seen so far it must be a potpourri of circumstantial b.s. and manufactured connections to provide motive.

But I heard Wolf Blitzer ask an obvious question today that seems so rudimentary that I have to wonder that it is not the most important possible link to the person who may have sent these letters. They were in fact "letters", handwritten "letters", so where is the information on handwriting analysis? I mean before you would try to make the connections with all of these microbial forensics wouldn't you first compare the handwriting? Did I simply miss it?

Has anybody heard a result for this simple and obvious test?

Anonymous said...

In addition to a bioreactor, one needs a lyophilizer and a fluid-bed drier/coater, and hexamethyldisilazane.