Essay On Amerithrax

Satisfactory Essays
On September 18th and the weeks following, a multitude of letters containing the Bacillus Anthracis bacterium were mailed to various New York news stations. Individuals at 5 different stations became ill with similar symptoms that included vomiting and shortness of breath. This began the nationwide panic known as the Amerithrax Investigation. The Amerithrax investigation was said to be the worst biological attacks in all of US History. Three weeks later, on October 9th, two more letters, containing the anthrax bacterium was mailed to two Democratic senators. In all of the 7 attacks, over 22 people developed infections, over half being life-threatening. The letters themselves confused federal investigators. In the sets of letters addressed to the media, certain T’s and A’s were bolded. When added together, the groups of letters formed 3 codons that corresponded to 3 amino acids. These amino acids pointed federal investigators towards a possible culprit, Bruce Edwards Ivins, a scientist for the US government in Frederick, Maryland.
Possible hidden messages in the amino acid codes seemed to authorities like possible doings of Ivins, and he was resultantly placed under watch. Authorities found a copy of a book on amino acids in Ivins’ trash, further incriminating him. Charges were placed against him, but however, on July 27th, 2008, Ivins died in the hospital, after intentionally overdosing on Paracetamol, an over-the-counter pain reliever, in what the authorities believed to be an attempt to avoid his charges. The authorities had lost their strongest suspect, and the investigation began to dwindle. The investigation included over ten thousand witnesses, spanning six continents. 1 year and 6 months later, the investigation was forma...

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...o employ qualitative analysis to combat the Anthrax scare. Because there are multiple types of Anthrax, to understand what strain was present, the investigators had to identify the strain of Anthrax that was present based on its similarities to the isolated samples of the bacteria. When a strain of anthrax was found, investigators had to compare its reactivity and qualities to those of previously isolated strains to determine exactly which strain was present. Likewise, in the lab, qualitative analysis was employed to identify the unknown precipitates by comparing the qualities of the results to the isolated qualities of each unknown compound. This was done by observing the texture and color of each precipitate, and comparing to the previously isolated unknown compounds. Qualitative analysis was an integral part in both the Amerithrax Investigation and Experiment 7.
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