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Biotech Crime The Military Science

Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect 164

Posted by kdawson
from the take-a-deep-breath dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Henry S. Heine, a former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the FBI has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001. Heine told a 16-member National Academy of Sciences panel reviewing the FBI's scientific work on the investigation that he believes it is impossible that the deadly spores could have been produced undetected in Ivins's laboratory, as the FBI asserts. Heine told the panel that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab, an effort that would not have escaped colleagues' notice. Lab technicians who worked closely with Ivins have told Heine they saw no such work. Heine adds that, in addition, the biological containment measures where Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. 'You'd have had dead animals or dead people.' Asked why he is speaking out now, almost two years after Ivins's suicide, Heine says that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory. Although Heine does not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins's flask, Heine says samples from the flask were widely shared. 'Whoever did this is still running around out there. I truly believe that.'"
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Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect

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