CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* why are Dr. Ivins contemporaneous lab notebook pages from 2001 (September 28, 29 & 30, and October 1 & 2) being withheld? … these are the nights that Rachel Lieber and Kenneth Kohl speculate he was making a powderized anthrax.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 9, 2011

******

from a recent comment by DXer …

  • Some of the most important pages, IMO, being withheld under FOIA  are the lab notebook pags containing Dr. Ivins contemporaneous notes on September 28, 2001, 29, 30, October 1, October 2 in which he explained what he was doing in the lab on the nights that Rachel Lieber and Kenneth Kohl speculate he was making a powderized anthrax.

AUSA Rachel Lieber, through a spokesman,

has refused to produce them

saying that the DOJ has provided all

that is going to be provided under FOIA.

  • I have drawn the attention of the wonderful USMRC FOIA person to the issue by email today in the hopes the USAMRIID people can locate them and provide them.
  • No statutory exemption would apply — they will simply be some innocuous notes relating to the health of some mice.  We will be looking to see if they relate to a study of the potency of the dose to be injected in the rabbits on 10/2 and whether some of the mice died requiring autoclaving.  (The estimate from a 302 interview statement is that it would take 1 1/2 – 2 hours to autoclave a dead animal; we then hopefully will have a ticker from the autoclave machine that would corroborate operation of the autoclave at those precise times).
  • For all those being part of the solution by helping reconstruct events though the production of documentary evidence, thank you very much.
  • For all those who would stand in the way of production of documentary evidence, please stand down or, better yet, affirmatively start being part of the solution.
  • Put your hands on the documents and give them to the FOIA officer at DOJ or USAMRIID.  Whatever a person’s understanding of what happened in September and October 2001, the documents will help get everyone on the same page.

******

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35 Responses to “* why are Dr. Ivins contemporaneous lab notebook pages from 2001 (September 28, 29 & 30, and October 1 & 2) being withheld? … these are the nights that Rachel Lieber and Kenneth Kohl speculate he was making a powderized anthrax.”

  1. DXer said

    Blogger Ed does not understand what reason Dr. Ivins had to be in the lab on September 28, 29 and September 30, 2001.

    I have explained:

    “Ed, in your recent internet post, you asked what reason Dr. Ivins had to be in the lab on September 28, 29, and September 30, 2001.

    As previously explained to you, the mouse experiment involved night checks.

    This September 12, 2001 email explains that the passive mouse protection study would require postponement of a planned decon because Dr. Fellows had time points that had to be done at night

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on November 23, 2011
    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/dr-ivins-september-12-2001-email-explains-that-the-passive-mouse-protection-study-would-require-postponement-of-a-planned-decon-because-dr-fellows-had-time-points-that-had-to-be-done-at-night/

    Checking mice, according to the record evidence, was a one man, two hour job.

    FBI interview statement: If someone came in off hours it was to work on the animal experiments – this could take approximately two hours and was usually a one-person job.
    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 1, 2012

    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/hickory-dickory-doc-the-mice-ran-up-the-clock-and-dr-ivins-time-in-the-bl-3-lab-in-late-september-2001-but-not-as-much-as-the-rabbits-did-in-early-october-2001/

    The greatest number of mice done that week died on September 28, 29 and 30, 2001.

    Dr. Ivins’ lab notebook establishes that there were lots of dead mice and dead rabbits on the precise dates that the prosecutors and investigators speculate, without basis, that Dr. Bruce Ivins was making a dried powder out of Flask 1029 — such as the FBI anthrax expert had done in August 2000 at the request of DARPA

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 3, 2011

    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/dr-ivins-lab-notebook-establishes-that-there-were-lots-of-dead-mice-and-dead-rabbits-on-the-precise-dates-that-the-prosecutors-and-investigators-speculate-without-basis-that-dr-bruce-ivins-was/

    If you have any additional questions, please refer to the other documents that were uploaded by Lew and the civil depositions.

    In civil depositions, documents are presented by the examining attorney and then the deponent is asked questions based on the documents.”

  2. DXer said

    Who at DOJ or FBI was responsible for withholding the lab notebook containing Dr. Ivins’ contemporaneous notations relating to the mice for September 28, 29, 30 and October 1?

  3. DXer said

    Lew had to keep coming back to the issue of the withholding of the rabbit documents — the Lab Notebook 4241 was not produced until September 2012.

    There is a paper record proving who was playing hide-the-ball — if only GAO takes the steps to obtain it.

    When I asked her for help getting the rabbit documents, AUSA Lieber by email told me that I had got under FOIA I was ever going to get. I don’t think she reckoned with Lew’s tenacity.

    Those Harvard MBAs aren’t pushovers — even when they have their feet up on some Greek island.

  4. DXer said

    On Friday, October 5, 2001, he explained that 3 days after a challenge with Ames 12 rabbits had died.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: Stabilizer in a new rPA vaccine
    Date: Friday, October 05, 2001 10:52:45 AM
    The data we are getting from our with formaldehyde/without formaldehyde experiment in rabbits
    is giving us VERY strong evidence that we should incorporate a stabilizer in with rPA and Alhydrogel.
    weren’t some FDA-acceptable stabilizers going to be identified? If there some out there,
    maybe we should start thinking about them now.
    Basically what we have as far as the experiment:
    1) Five years ago rPA/Alhydrogel/PBS vaccine was made with or without 0.02% formaldehyde (the
    level that’s in AVA) and stored at 4C. With these vaccines we immunized groups of rabbits as follows
    (0.5 ml per intramuscular dose):
    Group A – 24 rabbits (12 males, 12 females) get PA (50 ug)/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg)/PBS/0.02%
    formaldehyde at 0 weeks. Challenge (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    Group B – 24 rabbits (12 males, 12 females) get PA (50 ug)/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg)/PBS/No
    formaldehyde at 0 weeks. Challenge (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    Group C – 4 rabbits (2 males, 2 females) get PBS/Alhydrogel (0.5 mg) at 0 weeks. Challenge
    (subcutaneous) at 6 weeks with about 100 LD50 Ames spores.
    2) Results so far, 3 days after challenge:
    Group Survived/Total
    A – Vaccine plus formaldehyde 24/24 (no deaths)
    B – Vaccine minus formaldehyde 16/24 (8 deaths)
    C – Controls 0/4 (4 deaths)
    Note: We originally studied the effect of formaldehyde on rPA vaccine potency/stability in guinea
    pigs. The cumulative data indicated that stability/potency was enhanced by the presence of
    formaldehyde.
    - Bruce

  5. DXer said

    I previously have posted planning documents relating to the formaldehyde stability study that Dr. Ivins reported on in October 5, 2001 email.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: “Old” formaldehyde experiments
    Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 9:47:56 AM
    Here is the information you requested on the Covance study:
    Five years ago we made rPA vaccine/Alhydrogel with and without formaldehyde added. We tested
    the vaccines after various periods of time of storage and noted (in guinea pigs) that the presence of
    formaldehyde appeared to boost potency of the vaccine. It was unknown whether the boost in potency
    was due to stabilization of the protein, or to an adjuvant effect. (Formaldehyde itself causes local
    inflammation which would draw APCs and other cell types to the site.) The vaccine is now 5 years old
    since it was formulated, and we wished to see (in the rabbit model) if there is any difference in potency
    between the 2 vaccines. (The rabbit model is preferred over the guinea pig model in tests of anthrax
    vaccine efficacy.)
    Twenty-four New Zealand white rabbits (12 of each gender) were immunized with 0.5-ml
    intramuscular doses of vaccine containing 50 micrograms rPA, Alhydrogel (0.5 mg aluminum) and PBS
    (with formaldehyde, 0.02%).
    Twenty-four New Zealand white rabbits (12 of each gender) were immunized with 0.5-ml
    intramuscular doses of vaccine containing 50 micrograms rPA, Alhydrogel (0.5 mg aluminum) and PBS
    (without formaldehyde).
    Four rabbits (2 of each gender) will be controls receiving Alhydrogel and PBS.
    Rabbits will be bled at weeks 2 and 4 for anti-PA antibody titers. They will be challenged
    subcutaneously with virulent anthrax spores 6 weeks after immunization and monitored for survival.
    This experiment will demonstrate whether the presence of formaldehyde in an rPA/Alhydrogel
    vaccine increases or preserves potency.
    - Bruce

    • DXer said

      The plan was to ultimately intend to have a release criterion for the anthrax vaccine
      based on induction of a certain level of specific antibody in mice.

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      To:
      Subject: AVA potency test
      Date: Thursday, November 15, 2001 11:14:39 AM
      The current guinea pig potency test for AVA lot release suffers from several drawbacks, and it is in
      great need of replacement by a test that is more reliable and more accurate. Briefly, groups of guinea
      pigs are immunized subcutaneously on day 0 with dilutions of AVA. On day 14, the animals are
      challenged intradermally with 1,000 spores of the Vollum 1b strain of B. anthracis. Survival and death
      are monitored as well as the time to death of guinea pigs in the various dilution groups. In order to
      pass the test (the original test, not the newly proposed relative potency test), the total average
      reciprocal time to death must be less than 0.65.
      Some of the several drawbacks to this test include:
      1) Source of the guinea pigs affects the test outcome. Recent studies at BioPort and Battelle
      strongly suggest that BioPort guinea pigs behave differently in the potency test than do commercially
      obtained guinea pigs from Covance or Charles River.
      2) Weight/age of the guinea pigs affects the test outcome. Although there is a range of
      weights for guinea pigs in the test, animals at the higher end of the range do not behave identically to
      animals at the lower end of the range, according to recent studies at BioPort.
      3) The environment of the guinea pigs may affect test outcome. Guinea pigs at BioPort were
      formerly housed in a relatively dark, older building. When they were moved into a newer building with a
      brighter environment, their performance in the potency test changed.
      4) Over the years, a stock of guinea pigs may change with respect to performance in the
      potency test. This may be due to genetic changes (inadvertantly selecting certain traits) or to the
      acquiring of microbial (bacterial, viral or parasitic) infection, especially a subclinical infection, in the
      stock.
      5) The intradermal challenge method does not appear to be optimal with respect to delivery
      of the spore challenge dose. An error in delivery can result in either subcutaneous injection, or leakage
      of material from the injection site. This is not monitored because injections are performed underneath a
      gauze pad.
      6) There have been substantial problems in accurate quantitation of spores to be injected,
      leading to some tests falling out of the acceptable range of spores to be delivered, and some tests just
      barely falling into the acceptable range. Such variability in challenge dose affects the time to death,
      which, in turn, affects the average reciprocal time to death value.
      This antiquated potency test needs to be replaced. Studies are currently being performed to
      identify a surrogate marker of immunity, such as levels of antibody to PA following immunization. We
      intend to demonstrate that a particular dose of vaccine in rabbits and/or monkeys yields 100%
      protection against a virulent spore challenge, and that the same dose, or a specific dilution of that dose,
      yields a particular titer in mice. We ultimately intend to have a release criterion for the anthrax vaccine
      based on induction of a certain level of specific antibody in mice.
      - Bruce Ivins
      (b) (6)
      (b) (6)

  6. DXer said

    Dr. Ivins had done a lot of work with mice over the years.

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To:
    Subject: RE: PA vaccine preparation
    Date: Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:02:48 PM
    Hi,
    When we immunize, we usually do it at 0 and 4 weeks, then bleed about 6 or 7 weeks. Our mouse
    immunizations are usually 0.2 ml by the subcutaneous route, but you could probably use the IP route
    without a problem. As far as mouse strains, I would use either outbred mice, such as Swiss-Webster, or
    inbred mice that do not have any immunological defect or anomaly. Our proposed human dose will be
    0.5 ml containing 50 micrograms PA. Our mouse immunizations are usually 0.2 ml of the undiluted
    vaccine, so they would get 20 micrograms of PA. Monday, May 28 is a good day, and late morning to
    early afternoon would be good (any time between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm). This should allow me to get
    the material ready for making vaccine, and it should allow you to come here and avoid rush hour traffic.
    It shouldn’t take more than 1/2 to 1 hour to actually make the vaccine. We could probably have a
    Material Transfer Agreement to cover your use of rPA that you get from us, and we would be happy to
    give you PBS and Alhydrogel as well.
    Let me know how much vaccine (how many immunizations) you will need.
    - Regards,
    - Bruce

    • DXer said

      By 1999 or so, he had concluded mice was not a very good model for anthrax.

      From: Ivins Bruce E [mailto:Bruce.Ivins@DET.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL]
      Sent: Thursday, October 07, 1999 8:40 AM
      To:
      Subject: Anthrax, mice, and CpG
      Hi,
      As you remember, in our first experiment with the mice, we got some
      time-to-death extension with CpG for mice challenged with virulent B.
      anthracis spores. In the second experiment, we demonstrated not only
      time-to-death extension, but also protection from death with the CpG. In
      this last experiment which we just concluded, we strangely got no protection
      at all, in terms of either survival or increased time-to-death. I believe
      that the main problem is that the mouse is such a generally poor and
      unpredictable model for anthrax. The guinea pig is a MUCH better model for
      anthrax infection/protection, and our guinea pig protocol for CpG has been
      approved, so I think the next step should be (when we get the funds
      released) to go into the guinea pigs. We’ll be able to look at specific as
      well as non-specific protection, and if we get some promising results, we
      can head into non-human primates. Hopefully we’ll get some money released
      within a few weeks and we can get started then. I’ll let you know. I’m sure
      that mice are an excellent animal model for a number of diseases, but
      anthrax isn’t one of them.

      • DXer said

        Both mice and rabbits were the subject of product development planning in August.

        From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
        To:
        Subject: rPA meeting – 6 AUG 01
        Date: Tuesday, August 07, 2001 2:59:52 PM
        PROPRIETARY – NOT FOR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION
        Here is what I have for the rPA meeting yesterday:
        1) Every other week there will be rPA product development team meetings.
        2) discussed the progress on his mouse potency assay studies. The rPA/Alhydrogel vaccines
        he has been formulating immediately prior to injection do not contain formaldehyde. The A/j mice in his
        first study were immunized intramuscularly with a single dose of vaccine containing 1, 3.162, 10, 31.62
        or 100 micrograms of PA. Four weeks after immunization, the mice were challenged subcutaneously
        with 10 LD50 of Sterne spores. There was little difference among the doses with respect to antibody
        titers or protection, although the titers appeared to rise weekly. No information was available on the
        rabbit dose titrations. The next experiment will look at doses of 3.162, 1, .3, 0.1, and 0.03 micrograms
        of PA in the vaccines.

        3) Bruce talked about the status of stability studies (rPA vaccine with and without formaldehyde) in the
        rabbit. The rabbits will be held and immunized at Covance, then shipped to USAMRIID for challenge.
        The survival data should be in by the end of October. If there is enough available, some the the
        vaccines will be given to o physically characterize. He will try to present the data at the next
        meeting. will identify other items, such as sucrose, which would be acceptable as stabilizers
        in a new rPA vaccine. It was emphasized that we need to look at both physical stability and potency
        stability in a new rPA vaccine. The use of formaldehyde as a stabilizer in vaccines is discouraged by the
        FDA
        ***

    • DXer said

      Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 1:04 PM
      To: ‘Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID’
      Subject: RE: EIR
      Dear Bruce,
      You performed two studies with CpG ODN in mice. One showed prolonged
      survival when the ODN were administered 3 days prior to infection. The other showed increased and
      prolonged survival when the ODN were administered 6 days prior to infection. Do you consider it
      reasonable to present that data as evidence of immune protection, and in the next part of the same
      paper present data on ODN plus vaccine (in terms of the immune response and/or protection)? If so,
      whatever data you can provide on either point would be appreciated.
      I checked my files – nothing on guinea pigs.

  7. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    To: USAMRIID; USAMRIID
    Subject: Guinea pigs
    Date: Friday, March 17, 2000 1:32:50 PM
    Re: The 8 guinea pigs that came into 207 last week on Protocol B97-03:
    I would like to go ahead and challenge them on Monday, 20 March. This would mean the animals
    would die between Wednsday and Friday. Another experiment I’m on has been postponed to Monday,
    27 March, and I’d rather not have to try to do 2 on the same day.
    - Bruce Ivins

    Comment: I don’t know whether this one in 2000 was subcutaneous or an aerosol challenge; the one in October 2001 was subcutaneous.

    October 2, 2001 was a Tuesday (see online calculator for day of the week).
    http://www.mathsisfun.com/games/dayofweek.html

    I have been talking about the lab notes we know the DOJ are withholding regarding the mice on September 28, 29, 30, October 1, and 2.

    But are there also lab notes from October 3, 4 and 5 relating to the rabbits that the DOJ that DOJ should also produce?

    The DOJ created a misleading artifact relating to Dr. Ivins’ long hours in August 2001, November 2001, December 2001 by failure to disclose that the two-person rule in 2002 prevented that continued pattern.

    At the same time, hasn’t the DOJ created a misleading artifact by making it seem that Dr. Ivins time in the lab was unexplained by withholding the documents relating to these small animal studies (to include not only mice and guinea pigs, but also rabbits)?

  8. Zicon said

    An interesting link with the initial experiments on anthrax that goes back to the 1980′s
    Brigham Young University
    Provo, UT 84602
    USAMRIID

    (PIIN) # DAMD17-85-C-5167
    Project # 76300807

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA187206

    Another tid bit of info to read on the following:
    Instantaneous Bio-Aerosol Detector Systems (IBADS)
    linked below…
    http://instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads.idilogic.aidpage.com/instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads/

    Also what was Porton Down and LSU doing during the times of what Ivins notebook pages that have not been released yet???… Is any of this public info yet?? tg
    I also believe the the initials (TTA) are a very important key piece to things… What do those initials stand for?…
    Also that during the investigation that Bruce Ivins came to a stand still when trying to assit the DOJ due to compartmentalized classified info that even he would not have been privy to..
    IN my opinion I believe that the DOJ/FBI and esp the BAU should have predicted that he was a high risk for self-harm, and should have proceeded differently since there was no exact evidence that linked him directly to this mess..

    What Swiss pharmacutical company was tied to the studies???
    In my opinion a lot of lines intercept but all lead back to one place… There’s always a staring point somewhere, so one would need to go way way back to the initial studies and see who ties into everything and why..
    Near the end of his life, did Bruce get wind of something that even he himself couldn’t live with, due to what his research was being used for in human/bio-warfare trials???….

    Last but not least Juuuusssst MAYBE! Is where Saddam Hussain being put to death because “Could it be very likely that the us gave S.H. some biological things and he intern sold sample anthrax/other vials to Osama Bin Ladin overseas, the us/cia finds this out, and now the whole WMD by President Bush gets started, and then later on ends in Saddams death.. Coiencidence?? I sure as hell don’t think so…

    • Dxer said

      The study you cit e involves inserting mutations of virulence x101 and x102 for the purpose of making a more effective vaccine. Separately, you ask what research lsu was doing. Former colleague #2 patricia fellows was doing research involving inserting additional copies of virulence plasmids x101 x102. See William Broad article in NYT.. It was published in the phd thesis by Pamala Coker. In the NYT article, Dr. Coker explained that it made a more effective vaccine but also the technique could make a more effective bioweapon. She dedicated her thesis to Kimothy Smith, the fbi’s genetic expert. Both were thanked by the former zawahiri associate for providing the space in the lsu B3 for the anthrax research he was doing involving a nano emulsion. He thanked Bruce for supplying the Ames and thanked former colleague 1 and 2 for providing technical assistance. Bruce did not grow spores as a general matter until after former colleague left for southern research institute in 2002.

      this was why so much pressure was put on pat and Mara but it was Bruce who broke.

      • DXer said

        Dr. PF, ML, and BI published on the efficacy of a human anthrax vaccine against challenge by isolates of diverse geographical origin.

        Fellows, P. F., M. K. Linscott, B. E. Ivins, M. L. Pitt, C. A. Rossi, P. H. Gibbs, and A. M. Friedlander. 2001. Efficacy of a human anthrax vaccine in guinea pigs, rabbits, and rhesus macaques against challenge by Bacillus anthracis isolates of diverse geographical origin. Vaccine 19:3241-3247.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC150325/

        Then Dr. Coker joined Dr. Fellows and key LSU researchers in publishing

        Bacillus anthracis Virulence in Guinea Pigs Vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed Is Linked to Plasmid Quantities and Clonality
        Received October 22, 2002

        “This study presents data collected from several investigations and indicates that B. anthracis virulence is associated with the clonality and virulence of plasmids pXO1 and pXO2. Guinea pigs vaccinated with Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed were challenged with 20 B. anthracis isolates representative of worldwide genetic diversity. These same isolates were characterized with respect to plasmid copy number by using a novel method of quantitative PCR developed for rapid and efficient detection of B. anthracis from environmental samples. We found that the copy numbers for both pXO1 and pXO2 differed from those in previously published reports. By combining the data on survival, plasmid copy numbers, and clonality, we developed a model predicting virulence. This model was validated by using a randomly chosen set of 12 additional B. anthracis isolates. Results from this study will be helpful in future efforts to elucidate the basis for variation in the virulence of this important pathogen.

        That article noted Fall 2001 antharx mailngs and noted that in that regard

        A recently published study has alluded to the copy number of each plasmid per cell of the Ames isolate of B. anthracis (26)”

        Comparative genome sequencing for discovery of novel polymorphisms in Bacillus anthracis.
        Read TD, Salzberg SL, Pop M, Shumway M, Umayam L, Jiang L, Holtzapple E, Busch JD, Smith KL, Schupp JM, Solomon D, Keim P, Fraser CM.
        The Institute for Genomic Research, 9712 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA., Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ 86011, USA.

        The Coker et al article explained:

        “Some variation in virulence can be related to the presence or absence of the plasmids. Isolates lacking either the pX01 or pX02 plasmid are considered either avirulent or significantly attenuated (23, 33). However, this does not explain the variation in virulence observed in studies comparing fully virulent isolates such as the Ames and Vollum 1B strains (11, 12). Explanations for these differences in virulence have never been fully substantiated. In a challenge study using guinea pigs vaccinated with the human vaccine currently licensed in the United States, anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA), 20 genetically diverse B. anthracis isolates, as defined by multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), yielded survival rates ranging from 0 to 100% (results presented below). Several possible mechanisms that may be responsible for the modulation of virulence exist, including the copy number of plasmids per cell and transcription regulation of the anthrax toxins and capsule, and additional variation may be mediated by the generation time and germination efficiency. These factors are likely to be associated with mutations that could be clonally heritable.

        Vaccination and challenge.
        Hartley guinea pigs (Charles River, Wilmington, Mass.) were vaccinated intramuscularly (i.m.) at 0 and 4 weeks with 0.5 ml of AVA (Bioport, Lansing, Mich.). At 10 weeks after the first vaccination, the guinea pigs were challenged i.m. with 10,000 spores of virulent B. anthracis. Survival was noted for 14 days postchallenge. The research described in this report complied with all relevant federal guidelines and institutional policies and adhered to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals as promulgated by the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources of the National Research Council (24).”

        As I recall Dr. Fellows’ data regarding inserting additional copies of the virulence plasmids, it was first published as a section of Dr. Coker’s thesis. Dr. Coker now runs a cat clinic and did not want to talk about it when I contacted her several years ago.

        Here is the article by William Broad in the New York Times about the research.

        Key to Strains of Anthrax Is Discovered
        By WILLIAM J. BROAD
        Published: March 27, 2003

        Scientists have discovered why different strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax differ so much in virulence, a finding that in theory could produce more effective vaccines and better tools for distinguishing and tracking the lethal germ.

        But the finding could also aid the creation of designer varieties of anthrax that are potentially deadlier to humans. Because of that potential danger, a debate occurred over whether the discovery should be kept secret, scientists said. In the end, it was decided that the benefits of publication outweighed the risks.

        The discovery was made by six scientists at Louisiana State University, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the nation’s top center for studying germ defenses. It is published in the current Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

        The lead author, Dr. Pamala R. Coker, formerly at L.S.U. and now at the Livermore laboratory in California, spearheaded the research for her Ph.D. dissertation. The Livermore laboratory once pioneered nuclear arms but increasingly studies biology and germ defenses.

        The team’s finding centers on the anthrax genome, which consists of a single large chromosome and two small circles of DNA, known as plasmids, that carry extra genes. The scientists found that, contrary to common belief, each anthrax bacterium carries not just one set of plasmids but up to 243 copies of the first and up to 32 copies of the second, which is known as pX02. The more copies of this plasmid in a bacterial strain, the more it is capable of causing disease, the scientists said.

        The research was conducted in guinea pigs. The scientists found, for example, that an anthrax strain from Mozambique that possessed just one pX02 plasmid killed 25 percent of the test animals. But a strain from Australia with 32 copies of the plasmid left all the guinea pigs dead.

        The team of scientists also reported that added factors like subtle features of the bacterium’s DNA chromosome appeared to help determine virulence. Thus, the anthrax that killed five Americans in the germ attacks of 2001 — the so-called Ames strain — was found to possess just two copies of pX02. But it nonetheless killed 62 percent of the guinea pigs.

        The pX02 plasmid carries genes that let the anthrax bacterium fashion an outer protein coat that acts as a defensive shield to thwart the immune system of hosts. The scientists suspect that multiple copies of pX02 thicken that coating, letting the germ escape immune damage and multiply to do extensive harm.

        Scientists had previously identified 89 types of anthrax as genetically distinct but had failed to discover what determined their wide differences in virulence. The plasmid findings, they said, opened a new window on that question.”

        • DXer said

          In the December 2002 thesis,

          BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORE CONCENTRATIONS
          AT VARIOUS CARCASS SITES

          LSU’s P. Coker had explained:

          “Chapter three, Bacillus anthracis Virulence in AVA Vaccinated Guinea pigs is
          Linked to Plasmid Quantities and Clonality, would not be the powerful paper it is without
          the vaccinated guinea pig data provided by Patricia F. Fellows. Mrs. Fellows willingly
          provided her data after learning of my work and findings of differences in plasmid copy
          number associated with clonality after she noticed differences in survival between
          isolates used in the vaccine study. This chapter will be submitted to the Journal of
          Clinical Microbiology with Patricia Fellows and Kimothy Smith as co-authors.”

          Dr. Coker thank the FBI genetics expert in charge of testing samples in 2002

          “for being my rock. You are always there, your faith in me is unwavering, and you are my best friend.
          You have helped make me a whole person. Thank you for everything.”

          The chapter setting forth Dr. Fellows’ data explains:

          “Our observations have revealed tremendous variation in pXO1 and pXO2 copy
          number per cell using a genetically diverse collection of isolates. These observations
          were made possible by the use of a new method for molecular detection of B. anthracis
          using QPCR. Using QPCR, we were able to detect one copy of the standard plasmids for
          the chromosome, pXO1, and pXO2. A common belief among the research community
          has been that B. anthracis contains only one copy of each plasmid. Here, using a QPCR
          method, we have shown that there is more than one copy of each plasmid per cell and that
          there is tremendous variation among genetically diverse isolates. Our results indicate that
          there may be up to 243 copies of pXO1 and 32 copies of pXO2 per cell. While these
          numbers may seem extreme, this could be appropriate because the longer a cell survives
          the more toxin it can produce.”

          ***

          “It has long been known that different isolates have exhibited varying levels of virulence
          (11, 19, 28). The factors responsible for the different levels of virulence in these isolates
          are unknown. We have shown that the number of pXO2 plasmids in each bacterial cell
          contributes to the level of virulence associated with that isolate. Although the model that
          we developed indicated that pXO1 copy number does not contribute significantly to
          virulence, it is likely that in an experimental challenge of unvaccinated animals would
          find that the number of copies of pXO1 would also contribute to variations in virulence.
          However, the results of our studies presented here indicate that pXO2 plays a significant
          role in virulence and can contribute to observed variation in virulence. In the mouse
          model, isolates that only contain pXO2 remained lethal at low doses (33). Welkos
          showed that the pXO2 plasmid contributes significantly to the virulence of the organism
          (32) and that mutants producing greater amounts of capsule exhibited a higher level of
          virulence than the parental strain. Figure 3.4 shows an increasing gradation of virulence
          associated with an increase of pXO2.”

          “Virulence studies of anthrax are an important source of information especially
          considering the organisms use as a bioterror/biowarfare agent. This study has put
          forward some interesting and significant information concerning virulence of different
          isolates of B. anthracis and the testing of these same isolates in an animal system. Trends
          in the data with respect to plasmid copy number have revealed clues that will take us into
          the next paradigm of virulence testing.”

  9. Zicon said

    Correction to post on April 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm at the very bottom should have said “may have been given unknowingly”

    Next info from my pov could be a key piece in here somwhere…..
    Since some of the key notebook notes are being withheld.

    An interesting link with the initial experiments on anthrax that goes back to the 1980′s
    Brigham Young University
    Provo, UT 84602
    USAMRIID

    (PIIN) # DAMD17-85-C-5167
    Project # 76300807

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA187206

    Another tid bit of info to read on the following:
    Instantaneous Bio-Aerosol Detector Systems (IBADS)
    linked below…
    http://instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads.idilogic.aidpage.com/instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads/

    Also what was Porton Down and LSU doing during the times of what Ivins notebook pages that have not been released yet???… Is any of this public info yet?? tg
    I also believe the the initials (TTA) are a very important key piece to things… What do those initials stand for?…

    Also that during the investigation that Bruce Ivins himself came to a stand still when trying to assit the DOJ due to compartmentalized classified info that even he probably would not have been privy to..
    IN my opinion I believe that the DOJ/FBI and esp the BAU should have predicted that he was a high risk for self-harm, and should have proceeded differently since there was no exact evidence that linked him directly to this mess..

    What Swiss pharmacutical company was tied to the studies???
    In my opinion a lot of lines intercept all over the world, but all lead back to one place… There’s always a staring point somewhere, so one would need to go way way back to the initial anthrax studies and see who ties into everything and why..
    Near the end of his life, did Bruce get wind of something that even he himself couldn’t live with, due to what his research was being used for in human/bio-warfare trials???….

  10. Dxer said

    There was a Bioport meeting on March 10 , 2000. Later that month the USAMRIID scientists were summarizing requests that had been made.

    In response to an emailed question dated March 21, 2000, about LD50 for rabbits sc (subcutaneous) and aerosol, Dr. Ivins responded that for sc it was 1560 and for aerosol it was 105,000.

    He arranged to have someone help with the necropsies. Moribund animals would have to be euthanized before the necropsies were done. The name of the person doing the necropsies was redacted. Dr. Ivins was going to be out March 22. This may have been the time he tore a calf muscle.

    • Dxer said

      Who performed the euthanasia and the necropsies on the mice, guinea pigs and rabbits used in the September and October 2001 studies? What records would exist? Are there USDA Aphis records?

      • Dxer said

        The Frederick Research Center (Southern Research Center) in a report dated December 09, 2002 that 740 Guinea pigs had died in pain or distress. 131 nonhuman primates.

        Johns-Hopkins reported 1,568 dead guinea pigs and 1424 dead rabbits. 401 non- human primates.

        Novavax reported it no longer had an animal facility. (report dated 23 Dec 2002)

        It’s my understanding that by far most animal research is done using mice but they are not covered by the animal welfare act. There must be documentation at USAMRIID relating to the death of the rabbits oct 2-oct 5 to include their euthanasia.

        • Lew Weinstein said

          DXER said …There must be documentation at USAMRIID relating to the death of the rabbits oct 2-oct 5 to include their euthanasia.

          There is no question that such documentation should exist. There should also be written lab protocols specifying the information to be recorded for each such disposal. The protocols should say who is supposed to record the data, in what form, and how permanent records are to be maintained. There should also be a protocol for each set of experiments involving pathogens and animal challenge, prepared by the principal investigator, in this case Dr. Ivins. In any lab setting, someone should also be responsible for overseeing the work of individual scientists, not with respect to the work itself, but to assure that protocols for lab procedures and individual experiments are followed. It may also be that experiment protocols require some kind of prior internal approval.

  11. Zicon said

    An interesting link with the initial experiments on anthrax that goes back to the 1980′s

    Brigham Young University

    Provo, UT 84602

    USAMRIID

    (PIIN) # DAMD17-85-C-5167

    Project # 76300807

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA187206

    Another tid bit of info to read on the following:

    Instantaneous Bio-Aerosol Detector Systems (IBADS)
    linked below…

    http://instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads.idilogic.aidpage.com/instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads/

    Also what was Porton Down and LSU doing during the times of what Ivins notebook pages that have not been released yet???… Is any of this public info yet?? tg

    I also believe the the initials (TTA) are a very important key piece to things… What do those initials stand for?…

    Also that during the investigation that Bruce Ivins came to a stand still when trying to assit the DOJ due to compartmentalized classified info that even he would not have been privy to..

    IN my opinion I believe that the DOJ/FBI and esp the BAU should have predicted that he was a high risk for self-harm, and should have proceeded differently since there was no exact evidence that linked him directly to this mess..

    What Swiss pharmacutical company was tied to the studies???

    In my opinion a lot of lines intercept but all lead back to one place… There’s always a staring point somewhere, so one would need to go way way back to the initial studies and see who ties into everything and why..
    Near the end of his life, did Bruce get wind of something that even he himself couldn’t live with, due to what his research was being used for in human/bio-warfare trials???….

  12. Zicon said

    What was Porton Down (HE’s) and LSU working on during the dates that is speculated by the DOJ?
    Is any of the questions answers public knowledge…. yet?

    Also the following perhaps sheed some light referenced below…
    Instantaneous Bio-Aerosol Detector Systems (IBADS) (TTA)BIO
    Which D or ID to a swiss pharmacutical co.

    In my opinion only! To me it seems as Bruce came to a stoping point based on classified technology/compartmentalized when trying to assist the FBI and based on information that even he himself wouldn’t be privy to along with the FBI/DOJ that even though things went a lot further he could offer no more assistance, therefore only leading back to him.

    Molecular Subtyping of Bacillus anthracis: Discussion
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/442941_4

    DAMD17-85-C-5167 (PIIN)
    76300807 (Project #)

    The above 2 ID#’s can be viewed at the link below tg.. which goes back to the initial start of the experimental vaccines and the orig. author of studies. It gives some very detailed info that may be useful to the public.

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA187206

    Question is, did Bruce Ivins come into knowledge that he himself couldn’t stand to know/live with in the end what was being done with his research on humans/bio-warfare??? Outside of the us…

    I believe the abv. (TTA) is going to be a key important piece in this mess…
    In my opinion even though all the lines intercept all over the globe, some things still lead back to one key place, and perhaps this will come out somewhere.. (There’s always a starting point) (Ivins just got caught-up in the line of fire and couldn’t take the stress anymore) The BAU/FBI/DOJ should have predicted this and handled things very differently!

  13. DXer said

    Visits to bioport in 4 /2000, 7/ 2000, and 1/2001.

    • Zicon said

      Just some knowledge on bioport… And who really owns it…

      http://www.rense.com/general15/3wwho.htm

      Be patient!!!

      Question is from a hypothetical pov. Is this… What will anyone really do about it once the notebook contents come out and prove his innocence?

      What authority does anyone really have just to keep the classified work that was going on during those dates due to who was paying for the contract work doesn’t want anyone to find out? Based on the “type” of trials that were going on…

      Question is if this notebook pages info comes out, will it cause any problems.. I’m leaning hard/betting no…
      I’m betting it’s more to do with the contract employeer than anything else…

      Who is really going to answer for things kept from the public that shows he is innocent?

      Will anyone really lose their careers over all this?

      Could this one key piece of the notebook take this public/DOJ witch hunt to nothing…

      Has the question been asked why will they not release these pages, and for what exact basis are they keeping them “private?” So to speak…

      Does anyone have legal rights/end result studies info on/to formaldehyde if used in a vaccine? Pre or Post studies?
      Who all benifits from the vaccine?
      Are there deeper issues that can cause the vaccine to be scrapped due to the long/short term effects that may have already been given unknowingly to “Naval” troops or civilians?…

      • Zicon said

        Correction to above post.. “May have been given”

        An interesting link with the initial experiments on anthrax that goes back to the 1980′s
        Brigham Young University
        Provo, UT 84602
        USAMRIID

        (PIIN) # DAMD17-85-C-5167
        Project # 76300807

        http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA187206

        Another tid bit of info to read on the following:
        Instantaneous Bio-Aerosol Detector Systems (IBADS)
        linked below…
        http://instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads.idilogic.aidpage.com/instantaneous-bio-aerosol-detector-systems-ibads/

        Also what was Porton Down and LSU doing during the times of what Ivins notebook pages that have not been released yet???… Is any of this public info yet?? tg
        I also believe the the initials (TTA) are a very important key piece to things… What do those initials stand for?…
        Also that during the investigation that Bruce Ivins came to a stand still when trying to assit the DOJ due to compartmentalized classified info that even he would not have been privy to..
        IN my opinion I believe that the DOJ/FBI and esp the BAU should have predicted that he was a high risk for self-harm, and should have proceeded differently since there was no exact evidence that linked him directly to this mess..

        What Swiss pharmacutical company was tied to the studies???

        In my opinion a lot of lines intercept but all lead back to one place… There’s always a staring point somewhere, so one would need to go way way back to the initial studies and see who ties into everything and why..
        Near the end of his life, did Bruce get wind of something that even he himself couldn’t live with, due to what his research was being used for in human/bio-warfare trials???….

  14. Dxer said

    Who did Bruce go with to Michigan with for an extended visit in July 2000?

    With whom did he do experiments with growing anthrax at 25 degrees Celsius versus 37 degrees Celsius?

    Who participated in the consideration of use of bicarbonate that it would be better not to autoclave it … Because that drives off the CO2? And the CO2 was essential to the protective antigen?

    Was the anthrax used in the mailing Ames grown as part of the IPT Spore Challenge Bank?

    Who was part of the IPT team who could educate us on these issues?

    Where did he and his colleague stay and socialize in Michigan in July 2000?

    Is the scientist who accompanied him to Michigan in July 2000 the one who is spinning his time in the lab in July 2000 as not justified by his responsibilities with the animals?

    What do the contemporaneous notes show? Was his time warranted?

    • DXer said

      Postal Inspector Thomas Dellefera explained in an affidavit in support of a search relating to the government’s “Ivins Theory” that “The purpose of the [Anthrax Potency Integrated Product Team] was to assist in the resolution of technical issues that was plaguing Bioport’s production of approved lots of the vaccine.”

      • DXer said

        The members of the IPT team — two of whom received the civilian award with Bruce — were both involved in the formaldehyde study. Dr. Fellows is described as Former Colleague #2 (Technician #1) in the various materials. What can Dr. Fellows tell us about the time in Michigan in July 2000, the growth of anthrax for the IPT Spore Challenge Bank, and Dr. Ivins work with animals in late September 2001 and October 2001, to include any necessary autoclaving of dead animals.

        http://www.dcmilitary.com/dcmilitary_archives/stories/031903/22098-1.shtml

        • DXer said

          Correction: There were three others who received the award for their hard work and expert assistance.


          Getting the anthrax vaccine back into production was the mission of the IPT. Over a nearly two-year period, the team performed numerous site visits to Bioport, working directly with the manufacturer. This close coordination was important, Ivins said, to determine where the problems were and resolve them so the vaccine would pass the potency test.

          ***
          Each of the USAMRIID scientists contributed something unique. Pitt’s expertise in aerobiology was tapped to design, conduct and interpret key aerosol studies of the vaccine’s efficacy using animal models. She solved procedural problems related to the potency assay and helped plan the studies that compared different lots of anthrax vaccine in rabbits and among guinea pigs from different vendors, thus identifying a major source of variability in the potency assay. These studies paved the way to regaining AVA licensure, acting as an anchor that allowed test results obtained with numerous vaccine lots, conducted at different laboratories, to be compared in a meaningful way.

          Ivins, experienced in the characterization and handling of anthrax spores and in animal models of anthrax vaccine immunization, helped perform studies comparing vaccine efficacy from different vaccine lots in the rabbit aerosol model of anthrax. He also solved problems associated with the production, purification, storage and use of the anthrax spores needed for challenge in the potency assay.

          ***

          Fellows provided expert advice to Bioport for spore storage procedures and protocols, and she provided technical assistance to a Bioport contractor with respect to methodology for producing, harvesting and purifying anthrax spores. She also assisted with a number of the animal studies that were performed.

          Thanks to the efforts of the IPT, the anthrax vaccine was reapproved for human use early in 2002.

          “I’m proud of our scientists,” said USAMRIID Commander Col. Erik Henchal. “They were able to translate over three decades of our knowledge and experience with anthrax into action to improve production of the vaccine. Their success underscores the enormous value of USAMRIID to the war fighter and to the nation’s defense against biological threats.”

          All three USAMRIID team members said they were surprised to receive an award for, as they called it, “just doing our job.”

    • Dxer said

      Dr. Ivins reported to Mara, I believe, by email dated July 6, 2000 that the **** was about to hit the fan due to the failure of the final lot of vaccine to pass the potency test. He reported that he and Redacted (Dr. Fellows, I think) were spending 95 percent of their time on the problem. Did he write from Michigan during this period? did he use the hotel computer in the lobby? if additional computers/emails could be found, there might be probative emails found. Relatedly the DOJ FOIA should upload attachments to the 302 Interview statements, such as the report by the computer specialist who met with Dr. Ivins after Dr. Ivins reported that the suggestion he had deleted his 2001 emails was mistaken.

  15. Old Atlantic said

    Employees at USAMRIID can submit material to the FOIA officer that they think should be released? Can employees make their own requests for FOIA?

    These could be other lab notes or records including billing records of the BSL3 as a cost center for Ivins time in the BSL3 after hours? Those records might have copies of his lab notes or summaries?

    • Old Atlantic said

      DOJ/FBI said Battelle billed for employee time in Ohio. Therefore they could not have prepared the anthrax there because all time was accounted for in billing records.

      Did Ivins’ unit also bill for its time? Isn’t the BSL3 a cost center like a mainframe computer was/are? Mainframes bill for their hourly time to each department. That is typical in the government and in corporations. Doesn’t the BSL3 bill its time the same way the computer center does/did its mainframe?

    • Old Atlantic said

      If every BSL3 in the US bills as a cost center, and if that means according to the FBI they can’t have grown the anthrax as in the Battelle case, then that means it was not done at a BSL3 in the US.

    • Dxer said

      Yes, USAMRIID employees can submit their own FOIA but they have to do it from their personal computer and on their own time. See FAQ.

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