Sandia National Laboratories Test Exonerates Ivins → Washingtons Blog
Sandia National Laboratories Test Exonerates Ivins - Washingtons Blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sandia National Laboratories Test Exonerates Ivins

While government apologists are still trying to pretend there is a case that Bruce Ivins was the anthrax killer, tests by Sandia National Laboratories have exonerated him.

As the publisher of the prestigious scientific journal Nature writes:

At a biodefence meeting on 24 February, Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, presented analyses of three letters sent to the New York Post and to the offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael. Bacteria from Ivins' RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.

Two cultures of the same anthrax strain grown using similar processes — one from Ivins' lab, the other from a US Army facility in Utah — showed the silicon-oxygen signature but did not contain tin or iron. Michael presented the analyses at the American Society for Microbiology's Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland.

It had previously been known that the killer anthrax contained silicon - an agent for weaponizing anthrax. But I have never previously read that the killer samples also contained iron and tin.

As the world's top anthrax experts have pointed out, Ivins did not possess either the know-how or the equipment to weaponize the anthrax. See this and this.

In addition, as Nature points out:

Ravel also sequenced the genome of a Bacillus subtilis strain that was found in one of the letters. That sample did not match a B. subtilis strain found in Ivins' lab, says Bannan, but the bacterial contamination still could have come from somewhere else in Ivins' institution.

There is simply no credible evidence incriminating Ivins.


→ Thank you for contributing to the conversation by commenting. We try to read all of the comments (but don't always have the time).

→ If you write a long comment, please use paragraph breaks. Otherwise, no one will read it. Many people still won't read it, so shorter is usually better (but it's your choice).

→ The following types of comments will be deleted if we happen to see them:

-- Comments that criticize any class of people as a whole, especially when based on an attribute they don't have control over

-- Comments that explicitly call for violence

→ Because we do not read all of the comments, I am not responsible for any unlawful or distasteful comments.