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

* The genetics inquiry just narrowed things from “over 700” to “up to 377” individuals who had access to Ames during the time of the 2001 mailings

Posted by Lew Weinstein on March 21, 2011

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12 Responses to “* The genetics inquiry just narrowed things from “over 700” to “up to 377” individuals who had access to Ames during the time of the 2001 mailings”

  1. DXer said

    • DXer said

      Oh, and the key break in the case that narrowed things to Flask 1029? You know the one that took 6 years and cost millions of dollars? Well that just narrowed things from 700 to 377 KNOWN to have access. FBI’s expert Keim says that he even he had Ames from Flask 1029 in his collection!

  2. DXer said

    http://www.healthcanal.com/public-health-safety/64868-no-public-health-or-safety-risk-in-labs-according-to-cdc.html

    It was shipped to 2007 to University of Penn. The irony is tha the FBI was touting — as conclusive — a genetics analysis that in fact had merely served to winnow people with direct access from 1000 to 300 or whatever. At the time they made those gross distortions at the August 8, 2008 press conference, Ames had come to be nearly ubiquitous throughout the country’s labs, with thousands having direct access under non-B3 conditions.

    No public health or safety risk in labs, according to CDC
    12 hours ago

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating the unintentional transfer of anthrax from the U.S. Department of Defense to laboratories in multiple states and overseas.
    As part of this investigation, Penn State officials have been working with the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to identify and dispose of any remaining parts of a minute sample of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis) shipped to Penn State in 2007. The University’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) officials have located and secured the material remaining from the sample, which had been irradiated before its shipment to Penn State. Following the guidance of the CDC, EHS officials have safely disposed of the material. The University has been assured that the sample and its disposal does not present a public health or safety risk. The CDC does not recommend decontamination of the lab where the specimen was found or further action by Penn State.

  3. DXer said

    Forensic microbiology and bioterrorism risk (Part II)
    Maria Nasso, Francesco Saverio Romolo
    Submitted: 2013-02-17 23:49:02

    Abstract

    The letters containing anthrax, sent in 2001 in USA, showed that pathogens and toxins can be effectively used for terrorist purposes. A new subfield of forensic science, called “microbial forensics”, has been developed. It is a new scientific discipline dedicated to collect and analyze microbiological evidence from a scene of crime. In addition to collecting and analyzing traditional forensic evidences, the microbial forensic investigation will attempt to determine the identity of the causal agent, as so as epidemiologic investigation, but with higher-resolution characterization. The tools for a successful attribution include genetically based-assays to determine the exact strain of isolate, aiming the individualization of the source of the pathogen used in a biological weapon. Following the 2001 anthrax attacks, genotyping of B. anthracis was done on 8 variable number tandem repeats loci (VNTR polymorphisms), with multilocus variable number tandem repeats (MLVA) method. In recent years some research groups have increased the VNTR markers number to 25 loci, while other groups have identified single nucleotide repeat (SNR) polymorphisms, which display very high mutation rates. SNR marker system allows the distinguishing of isolates with extremely low levels of genetic diversity within the same MLVA genotype.

  4. DXer said

    GAO,

    In terms of “gap analysis,” that’s a gap that Ayman Zawahiri and Yazid Sufaat and even the Blind Sheik could fly a crop-duster through. … and that’s even before you get to issues such as the failure to record transfers from Flask 1029 prior to 2002 if done at USAMRIID, the second slant that was missing, all the missing Ames that had been made by Dr. Ivins assistants and never put in the Flask (apparently) etc.

  5. DXer said

    If the United States government thinks it is worth $50 million to attempt to narrow the suspects from 700 to 377 given the other cost effective means of investigation available to it, then taxpayers are not well served.

    The emperor has no clothes.

    Enforcing conflict of interest regulations and a little common sense — such as DOJ producing the contemporaneous documents relating to how Dr. Ivins spent his time in September and October 2001 — would only cost a couple hours of a paralegal’s work.

  6. DXer said

    BMC Genomics. 2011 Sep 30;12(1):477. [Epub ahead of print]
    An Attenuated Strain of Bacillus anthracis (CDC 684) has a Large Chromosomal Inversion and Altered Growth Kinetics.
    Okinaka RT, Price EP, Wolken SR, Gruendike JM, Chung WK, Pearson T, Xie G, Munk C, Hill KK, Challacombe J, Ivins BE, Schupp JM, Beckstrom-Sternberg SM, Friedlander A, Keim P.
    Abstract

    ABSTRACT:
    BACKGROUND:

    An isolate originally labeled Bacillus megaterium CDC 684 was found to contain both pXO1 and pXO2, was non-hemolytic, sensitive to gamma-phage, and produced both the protective antigen and the poly-D-glutamic acid capsule. These phenotypes prompted Ezzell et al., (J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:223) to reclassify this isolate to Bacillus anthracis in 1990.
    RESULTS:

    We demonstrate that despite these B. anthracis features, the isolate is severely attenuated in a guinea pig model. This prompted whole genome sequencing and closure. The comparative analysis of CDC 684 to other sequenced B. anthracis isolates and further analysis reveals: a) CDC 684 is a close relative of a virulent strain, Vollum A0488; b) CDC 684 defines a new B. anthracis lineage (at least 51 SNPs) that includes 15 other isolates; c) the genome of CDC 684 contains a large chromosomal inversion that spans 3.3 Mbp; d) this inversion has caused a displacement of the usual spatial orientation of the origin of replication (ori) to the termination of replication (ter) from 180o in wild-type B. anthracis to 120o in CDC 684 and e) this isolate also has altered growth kinetics in liquid media.
    CONCLUSIONS:

    We propose two alternative hypotheses explaining the attenuated phenotype of this isolate. Hypothesis 1 suggests that the skewed ori / ter relationship in CDC 684 has altered its DNA replication and/or transcriptome processes resulting in altered growth kinetics and virulence capacity. Hypothesis 2 suggests that one or more of the single nucleotide polymorphisms in CDC 684 has altered the expression of a regulatory element or other genes necessary for virulence.

  7. Zicon said

    There are more than the “15 identified” labs/bio-weapons integration ctfs The total is less than 24 in the US in all…
    As far as the “Over 1000 BG checks as listed above, what about the ones who had access that were excluded from all this mess from the white house? That GB himself would have said to a certain Mu. Do not go there…. and this list of persons the FBI “Can NOT” even look at more less question… If they did then serious repercussions would have been seen from the wh and would start costing people their careers and maybe jail in QMB in VA with BM who is there now

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