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Posted: 11/4/2001 5:07:42 PM EDT
It seems incredible to me that the Feds have not disclosed whether the anthrax spores being detected in/on the East Coast and Mid-West letters are highly refined weapons grade material or not. They have to know by now, thereby narrowing the possibilities of who is responsible. Did I miss any announcements?
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:16:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:23:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:32:38 PM EDT
They are keeping it quite so that they will have something to re-engerize the people with when, either support starts to fade, the war starts going badly, or they want to expand the theater to other countries.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:38:50 PM EDT
So what does the term "weaponized" mean... The significance of the term seems lost in the media-generated hysteria. That the spores are made able to be more easily spread? Or been genetically modified to be antibiotic resistant? Or what?? I for one would like to know the range of modifications able to be done to an agent like anthrax to know what could be anticipated.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:45:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:47:52 PM EDT
Raf, I understand your point. Joe Average can do little with the info and the reality of the bioweapons panic has been disconcerting to say the least. I guess I have a more than passing interest in the subject as I am a working scientist with a background in biochemistry. I think the key to solving the anthrax attack is to find out where the spore processing (refining into final form) is taking place. If it is highly refined material (weapons grade), there are only a few places on earth where it could be manufactured. US resources could then be focused on those sites and we wouldn't have to be chasing down every basement lab, moonshine still, home wine and beer producer,university bio-lab etc. Those folks could go about doing other important jobs. The spores are already out there, and the concern is high, so I don't see how telling us the quality level of the bio-weapon can hurt much. .
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:55:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 5:58:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:02:28 PM EDT
"Weaponized" in this case means that the Bacillus anthracis spores have been specially dried and particle-sized to float suspended in air, carried on air currents, and sized to fit into your small lung sacs. ( Nice, huh?) The anthrax cultures found so far have not been genetically manipulated or made to be antibiotic resistent. "Weaponized" in other cases such as smallpox, Ebola, etc. would have an entirely different meaning as those microorganisms are vastly different than Bacillus (anthrax) and would require different manipulations to make them bio-weapons. Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:59:42 PM EDT
The book germs went into various version of weaponized. First is the size to make it airborne, which the current version is. Second has to do with coating to make it resistant to ultraviolet light and more stable. Next is to freeze dry it with a nutrient source. Third is to genetically modify the bug to make resistant to antibiotics. So what has been found so far has been well made, but not truly weaponized.
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