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

* powerpoint slides by Peter Weber re NanoSIMS as used to make attribution of anthrax in bioterrorist event

Posted by DXer on September 26, 2009

CASE CLOSEDCASE CLOSED is a novel which answers the question “Why the FBI failed to solve the 2001 anthrax case?” … click here to … buy CASE CLOSED by Lew Weinstein

Here’s what readers say about CASE CLOSED  …

“The whole Anthrax episode is unquestionably a dark moment in American history. But what makes it fascinating is how it was handled (or should I say mishandled) by the administration and the various agencies involved. The book is a must read for anyone who wondered … what really happened? … Who did it? … why?” … and finally, why didn’t they tell us the truth?”

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powerpoint slides by Peter Weber re NanoSIMS as used to make attribution of anthrax in bioterrorist event

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7 Responses to “* powerpoint slides by Peter Weber re NanoSIMS as used to make attribution of anthrax in bioterrorist event”

  1. DXer said

    Dr. Weber, after further considering things, has graciously agreed to make available his powerpoints.

  2. DXer said

    Briefing to science media on August 18, 2008-

    QUESTION: You know, one other thing that has appeared in the coverage is that investigators tried to reproduce or remake the powder that was used in the mailings, and had difficulty in doing so or wasn’t able to do so. Is that all true?

    DR. MAJIDI: We just went through that. The two different preps were different. If I make soup at home two different times, they are not going to taste the same. So the fact that we can’t exactly duplicate a single particular prep is not unusual in any realm. And again, I’m going to ask Jim just to put a little texture on what I’m saying here.

    BACKGROUND OFFICIAL: Yes. There’s so many variations in biological systems that occur, just variations in humidity, temperature, qualities of your media, that could affect the ultimate end product. And how you actually handle and harvest the material, whether you grow it in broth or grow it on agar plates, how you resuspend the growth, how you allow the material to sporulate over time ‑‑ in some aspects, this is an art form. And because we’re dealing with biological systems, there are always components of variation that are introduced into the process.

    http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com

  3. DXer said

    Peter K. Weber has not decided to make his most recent powerpoint public.

    These scientists need to read up on the FOIA statute and its application to a powerpoint delivered in an open session at the NAS and start complying with the Freedom of Information Act when funded by taxpayer money.

    The Shelby Amendment has no application under these facts.

    If they can’t comply with federal law, they should not seek federal funding.

    http://www.anthraxandalqaeda.com

  4. DXer said

    http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FMAM%2FMAM12_S02%2FS1431927606064245a.pdf&code=56ad9c75d93b843ee332fec41a70bb64

    Peter and Joe submitted a paper at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2006 in Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 30 – August 3, 2005 titled
    “Microanalytical Methods for Bio-Forensics Investigations.”

    The researchers explained that the use of spectrum imaging techniques for rapidly extracting the key elemental signatures from large scale data sets. Spectrum imaging techniques combined with multivariate statistical analysis allow for the collection and interrogation or enormous quantities of data without pre-biasing the answer. Spectrum imaging has been used successfully in EDX microanalysis (both in the SEM and TEM) and TOF-SIMS. In the study they were presenting, a set of test biological agents, γ-irradiated Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), were examined using the aforementioned microanalytical techniques. The sample set included a number of processing conditions to gauge the ability of these techniques to identify the production methods of these simulated agents.

    Complementary but distinct forensic signatures were obtained by all three analytical techniques. Their Figure 1 showed two types of silicate particles observed among the spore material itself. At this length scale, the spores themselves cannot be resolved, but the presence of these silicates is key marker for distinguishing the production route. A STEM-EDX spectrum image from the same material does not show these large silicates but instead shows the segregation of elements such as sulfur and silicon to the EXTRA-CELLULAR MATERIAL BETWEEN SPORES, again a result of the specific process used to produce this simulated agent (Figure 2). NanoSIMS data from the same material also shows the segregation of Si in this preparation.

    Comment: Don’t the different pieces of information available indicate that the extra-cellular silicate particles between spores was removed through a process such as repeated centrifugation (or an air chamber). And isn’t that the process contemplated by the patent involving concentrating anthrax using silica in the culture medium. And hasn’t the FBI in its briefing to the public and NAS correctly suggested the source of the silicon signal was silica in the culture medium?

  5. DXer said

    Bugmaster,

    My bad. These are not powerpoints from his presentation. These are powerpoints from an earlier presentation explaining how NanoSIMS generally. Dr. Weber will be reachable by email tomorrow for the powerpoints he used yesterday.

    Lew, thank you very much for your unflagging work. Retired… Touring Europe… A lesser man would have forgotten us and such esoteric debates.

  6. BugMaster said

    O.K., but where in this presentation does Dr. Sims mention these technique having been used to analyze MATERIAL DIRECTLY FROM THE ANTHRAX ATTACKS?

    If the attack material wasn’t analyzed, then how applicable was this presentation?

    • DXer said

      At the time of the powerpoints, in a powerpoint I may have inadvertently failed to provide, it is stated that the FBI was submitting samples. The powerpoint explained that ISO (International Organization for Standardization )certification was in progress. The application was supported by DHS NBFAC for bioforensics.

      FSC-SOP-SIMS, dated September 24, 2004, titled “Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) stated “This SOP describes the analysis of samples, submitted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), through the Forensic Science Center (FSC), by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). SIMS is a high vacuum technique. Therefore, all samples must be compatible with high vacuum. This usually means solid samples of low vapor pressure.

      I’m amused that Ed can’t quite get his mind around Dr. Weber’s presentation. Just as he tried to dismiss the WMD Chief’s comment at the August 2008 roundtable, he says Dr. Weber “seems” to suggest…

      Actually, Dr. Weber quietly walked up to the plate and knocked it out of the park.

      His group’s techniques allows them to isolate and extract the signature of the agent.

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