FBI Anthrax report incorrectly reports 12 to 18 hour growth time anthrax

February 21, 2010

The FBI report on anthrax states that the protocol to grow anthrax is 12 to 18 hours.  See Footnote 25 page 40 of pdf which is numbered page 36 in the report linked to below.

http://www.justice.gov/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf

This is the protocol to grow micrograms or milligrams in lab runs for lab experiments.  To grow anthrax to produce grams of anthrax in letters takes 4 to 12 days using plates.  This is documented in the Carey et al paper linked to below.

==1

Production of Bacillus Spores as a Simulant for Biological Warfare Agents
Authors: Laurie F. Carey; Diane C. St. Amant; Mark A. Guelta; EDGEWOOD CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL CENTER ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

They used a New Brunswick c25 floor shaker incubator for the runs using liquid as opposed to the NSM runs with plates.

See page 12 of pdf, 2.9.2.

This weighs 400 pounds.

Note they were doing 1 liter flasks. Those produce in the best runs somewhat under a gram. To produce 5 to 10 grams for the first letters would require 5 to 10 liters.

http://www.artisan-scientific.com/59721.htm

http://www.artisan-scientific.com/info/New_Brunswick_C25_Datasheet.pdf

See page 2 for photo. The unit is bigger than a man and weighs 400 pounds.

They started with 1ml of bacillus per liter of CD.

Since RMR-1029 was used as a source, they still had to grow it because the letters contained subtilis and silicon not in RMR1029.

Starting with more bacillus should shorten the production time, but it can not change the amount of growth media needed. The paper above also shows that yield is random and sometimes close to zero. It also shows that run time is 3 to 14 days with some runs duds at 14 days.

==2

They have another paper here:

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA483822

AN IMPROVED METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF Bacillus subtilis var. niger SPORES FOR
USE AS A SIMULANT FOR BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS- QUALITY ANALYSIS
Diane C. St. Amant, Laurie F. Carey, Mark A. Guelta
U.S. Army, Edgewood Chemical and Biological Command, APGEA, MD.

Please download them, you never know when they might not be there and at times they have been unavailable.

==3

Suppose your take 2 1 liter containers of growth media. Imagine its milk to seem concrete. Call the containers A and B. In A we put a single bacterium. In B we put two.

Suppose that a good run is 1 gram of spore equivalents, assuming a constant size of the spores. Suppose both containers have a good run. Then you end up with 1 gram of spores from each. But B will usually go faster by the time it takes a bacterium to split into two.

Note the container size is the same, 1 liter. The output is the same 1 gram. We get a yield of 1 gram per liter of growth media. This is true even though the starting number of bacteria is 2 times as many in case B as case A. Thus the final number of spores is a function of the growth media alone and not of the starting number of spores.

Final number of spores or grams (assuming a fixed size of spores) is a function of the liters of growth media (for the same growth media) and not of the starting number of spores.

==4

Another issue is how many grams of spores were in the letters. If one gram of spores is in a letter, and one liter of growth media is needed to grow one gram of spores (with a good run) then one gram of growth media is needed for that letter. If a spore powder is spores and only spores and is 1 gram, and if it takes one liter of growth media to make 1 gram of pure powder, then one needs one liter of growth media.

The Laurie F. Carey et al paper indicates the typical yield was more like .2 grams per liter in their experiments. (I am going by memory.)

If a letter had 1 gram of pure spore powder, and the yield was .2 grams per liter, one needs 5 liters per letter. 5 such letters needs 25 liters.

Ivins was shown using a glove box in a photo. That glove box didn’t look big enough for such a run. The paper used a floor shaker unit that weighed 400 pounds. If Ivins didn’t, his results would be worse, take longer and lower yield presumably.

==

Footnote 25 of FBI report page 36 at bottom of page, page 40 of pdf.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/amx-investigative-summary.pdf

http://www.justice.gov/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf

http://www.fbi.gov/anthrax/amerithraxlinks.htm

…Quote below

Each of these various devices plays a particular and critical role in the production of Ba spores. As a general matter, work on a pathogen of this type must be performed in a laboratory equipped with special safety devices and negative air pressure, so that any spills can be contained. With respect to spore production, generally speaking, a researcher would obtain a very small sample of spores from another source and transfer this sample to a growth medium, such as a Sheep’s Blood Agar (“SBA”) plate or a liquid preparation, that contained a nutrient source for the spores. An SBA plate could then be incubated to foster growth of spores. After an appropriate period of time, 12 to 18 hours was the standard protocol, the newly-grown spores would be harvested through an elaborate process, washed, and then spun down in a centrifuge to concentrate the spores. A fermentor can be used to grow large quantities of spores in a liquid preparation. Finally, as set forth supra in the Opportunity and Access section, a lyophilizer can be used to dry spores once they have been washed.

==

Compare FBI footnote to the report linked to below AN IMPROVED METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF Bacillus subtilis var. niger SPORES FOR
USE AS A SIMULANT FOR BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AGENTS- QUALITY ANALYSIS
Diane C. St. Amant, Laurie F. Carey, Mark A. Guelta
U.S. Army, Edgewood Chemical and Biological Command, APGEA, MD.

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

The pdf doesn’t let you cut and paste like the FBI one. So I will refer to page numbers of pdf, not of the report.

Read 2.9.1. page 12. This tells you that NSM refers to growth on plates.

Go to section 3.2 page 16 and read Tables 1 to 4. The growth times are 4 to 12 days for the NSM, which is the plates in their experiment.

Go to page 20, Table 6. This repeats the same information.

Go to 3.1.1 Page 15. It says NSM, plates, take 4 times longer than liquid media when including preparation and harvesting/processing time.

==

We appear to have a flat contradiction between the FBI report that says harvest plates in 12 to 18 hours and the subtilis growth paper that says it takes 4 to 12 days. So how do we reconcile these? Hypothesis: the answer is that 12 to 18 hours is a lab protocol to get micrograms or milligrams of spores or bacteria and the paper is about growing grams for sending in letters to kill people.

Suppose it takes 10 days for full growth. Suppose you start with 1 milligram equivalent of spores as live bacteria. You want 1 gram. So you want 1000. 2 to the 5 is 32, so 2 to the 10 is about 1000. So you need 10 doublings. (The rate of growth slows, but we ignore that.)

After 1 day, you have 2 milligrams. Labman can stop here. He only needs 2 milligram or less to do an experiment. Mailerman can not stop with 2 milligram. Mailerman instead has to continue the full 10 days. If mailerman stops at day 9, he has 1 doubling to go, so he has only 1/2 gram instead of the full gram. Mailerman has to continue the full 10 days.

The FBI was quoting Labman’s protocol not Mailerman’s protocol.

==

So why didn’t the FBI consult Laura Carey et al?  They had done the experiments and knew the numbers. Why didn’t the FBI ask them to write a section in the FBI report on the production of anthrax?  Why didn’t the FBI give the FBI report to Carey et al to check?

Hypothesis: In 2004, when this paper was released, the FBI and USAO DC intended that Carey et al would testify in United States v. Hatfill that Ivins and others in government labs could not have prepared and sent the anthrax because the growth times and large equipment required would have made detection very likely.   So in 2010, the FBI can’t have the scientists who did the experiments and know the numbers write the report or even review the report, because they had already committed to testify in 2004 for the USDOJ and FBI that Ivins could not have done it because of their experimental results.

There are no experimental papers for the FBI and USDOJ that support the 12 to 18 hour time for producing grams of spores to mail.  So they just make a bald statement of a protocol of 12 to 18 hours without explaining it.

At the same time, they reference a lyophilizer.  They knew the lyopholizer has to be cleaned when used to process anthrax and that this takes a day and requires the use of a room dedicated to that.  This came out from Ft. Detrick people on blogs.  The FBI knew that.  It was intentional deception to list the lyophilizer.

Its interesting to note Ivins comment about the lyophilizer course about how mathematical it is.  Ivins papers don’t contain equations and formulas.

==

anthrax equation author:Ivins

on Google scholar picks up 4 hits.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=anthrax+equation+author%3AIvins&btnG=Search&as_sdt=80000000000000&as_ylo=&as_vis=0

A logistic seems to be the extent of his math in papers and that is with coauthors.

==Info on C25 Floor Shaker used by Laura Carey et al

http://www.artisan-scientific.com/59721.htm

The C-25 Classic Incubator and C-25KC Classic Refrigerated Incubator Shakers are large capacity shakers utilizing an eccentric counter balanced drive to provide horizontal plane rotary motion in a 1″ (2.54 cm) circular orbit. A Proportional/Integral (PI) Microprocessor controller with instantaneous digital feedback controls the speed over a range of 50-400 rpm. The C-25 provides temperature control over a range of 7°C above ambient to 60°C, and the C-25KC provides temperature control over a range of 15°C below ambient (minimum 4°C ) to 60°C. Ambient temperature is defined as the temperature within one meter of the shaker. The shakers may be operated either continuously or in a timed mode via a programmable timer for shaking periods of 0.1 hr. to 99.9 hrs. For safe operation, both the C-25 and C-25KC are designed with a safety switch that automatically stops the shaker mechanism when the lid is lifted. In addition, the C-25 and C-25KC are equipped with visual and audible alarms that alert the user to the following conditions:
• The end of a timed run
• Deviations of shaking speed
• Deviations of temperature setpoint
• Power failure
• Lid open

That alarm would come in handy for late night lab users trying to get their work done, especially if it went off during a work day because they had to leave it running during the week.

Coworker: Why is the alarm going off on your 400 pound C-25 shaker incubator Bruce?

Bruce: I don’t know.

Coworker: Also why are using a big floor shaker incubator that doesn’t fit in your glove box?  We only do runs to produce micrograms around here.  Why do you need that giant heavy thing that doesn’t fit in your glovebox?

==

Note the C-25 is for liquid fermentation runs.  Without the 400 pound floor shaker incubator, the runs would take longer and/or have lower yields, or even be duds as sometimes happened even with the C-25, meaning no production after 14 days.

==Added comment at Weinstein blog to address question the thread was about.

Original comments from Jim White reposted at Case Closed

–Weinstein wrote:

Jim White believes a 100-fold math error in the Amerithrax investigation improperly excluded suspects

  • Substantial flaws still remain in the FBI’s explanation of the technical analysis on which they concluded that Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator of the anthrax attacks of 2001.
  • I have found what appears to be an error in the analysis of how much material from RMR-1029 would have been required to produce the spores used in the attack letters.
  • The result of this error is an overestimate, by a factor of 100, of how much material from RMR-1029 would have been needed to be used for each letter.
  • Partially because of this overestimate, the FBI excluded as suspects other researchers who received samples from RMR-1029, claiming that they lacked the expertise both to produce such a large volume of material and to then prepare it as attack material.

–Old Atlantic Answer:

Just to answer the original question.  The letter anthrax contained subtilis not in RMR-1029 and contained silicon not in RMR-1029.  That proves the letter anthrax was not directly from RMR-1029 but regrown.

The letters had 5+ grams in the first set and 2+ grams in the second set although there are those who sometimes argue over this.  The FBI should clarify what info it has.

Production of Bacillus Spores as a Simulant for Biological Warfare Agents
Authors: Laurie F. Carey; Diane C. St. Amant; Mark A. Guelta; EDGEWOOD CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL CENTER ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD

These people actually grew grams and grams of subtilis spores.  They started out with empty plates and empty liter flasks, put growth media in them and put subtilis in them and actually grew bacteria and then turned them into spores and measured the weight they got.  They checked the growth media every 24 hours and did experiments every 24 hours on them to test how far along they were.

They used the New Brunswick C-25 floor shaker incubator unit to grow grams of subtilis in liquid media.  They used the necessary square feet of plates to grow on plates and get grams and grams of spores after centrifuging and drying.

This had to happen because the anthrax in the letters contained subtilis and silicon not in RMR-1029.

To get 5 grams of dry spores you have to start with a large amount of growth media, somewhere from 5 liters to 25 liters or even 50 liters.  Using twice as much bacteria to start can shorten the growth time by one generation’s growth time, but it doesn’t change the amount of growth media you need.  The amount of growth media, how many liters, is determined by how much bacteria you end up with not how much you start with.

The people who actually grew grams of bacteria report it took large scale equipment that doesn’t fit into Ivins’ glove box.  You can see the picture of the C-25 New Brunswick 400 pound floor shaker incubator.  Its bigger than a man.  Centrifuges to do the job are also large, I posted links to them at Meryl Nass in 2008.

It is not a matter of some notation in Ivins’ notebook suddenly changes everything.  The Laura Carey et al people actually grew the grams and grams of powder that are the equivalent of what is in the letters.  The second letters are reported as 99 percent pure in the recent FBI report.  So they are stuck with that.  Even one gram takes 3 to 14 days according to Carey et al, and that is using the C-25 400 pound floor incubator shaker and liquid media.

==

Originally posted at Weinstein Case Closed Anthrax blog

http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/jim-white-believes-a-100-fold-math-error-in-the-amerithrax-investigation-improperly-excluded-suspects-do-you-agree/#comment-3921

http://anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2010/02/fbi-case-closed-and-ivins-did-it.html

http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/meryl-nass-fbi-closed-the-case-before-the-nas-reported-its-findings-regarding-the-fbis-anthrax-science-why/

https://oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/category/anthrax-attacks/

==

The following links contain discussions of the growth times.

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=oEr&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&q=+dtic++site%3Aanthraxvaccine.blogspot.com&aq=f&aqi=&oq=

dtic  site:anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com

  1. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Additional comments

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA426293 Looks like the powers that be don’t want the people to read this paper.
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/additional-comments-by-dr-popov-on.html – Cached

  2. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: If the case is

    http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf showed that the level of Si is still only a fraction of 1%(estimated from
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/if-case-is-solved-why-isnt-it-solved.html – Cached

  3. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: FBI Proposal to NAS

    http://www.dtic.mil/srch/doc?collection=606943E40A9DF7C9&id=ADA426293 5. Was this paper intended to be delivered as evidence by the FBI in the prosecution
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2008/09/fbi-proposal-to-nas.html – Cached

  4. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Another anthrax

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA426293 PDF linking at this time. September 29, 2008 9:37 PM
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/another-anthrax-accident-was-reported.html – Cached

  5. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Critique of the

    The dtic paper indicated multiple centrifuge runs of 30 minutes each. So if he had to use a 300ml capacity centrifuge he would have had to be in the lab far
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/critique-of-chemical-signature.html – Cached

  6. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Trail of Odd Anthrax

    http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA426293&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf. One can obtain a pretty good simulation of this EDX spectrum – note that
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/trail-of-odd-anthrax-cells-led-fbi-to.html – Cached

  7. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Comments by

    http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA426293 I searched on: growing time bacillus spores.
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/comments-by-professor-sergey-popov-on.html – Cached

Also

Popov  site:anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=lZW&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&q=Popov++site%3Aanthraxvaccine.blogspot.com&aq=f&aqi=&oq=

  1. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Additional comments

    Additional comments by Dr. Popov on producing anthrax. 1. I agree with all scientific conclusions [of the Analytical Chemistry article] except for the one
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/additional-comments-by-dr-popov-on.html – Cached

  2. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Comments by

    Sep 19, 2008 Dr. Popov worked in the former Soviet Union’s Biopreparat Program and is a professor at George Mason University. Having met with him several
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/comments-by-professor-sergey-popov-on.html – Cached

  3. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Jahrling: Honest Mistake

    Sep 17, 2008 Additional comments by Dr. Popov on producing anth. Comments by Professor Sergei Popov on anthrax and .
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/jahrling-honest-mistake.html – CachedSimilar

  4. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: NYT: Portrait

    Jan 5, 2009 George Mason University professor and former Soviet bioweapons researcher Sergei Popov (who has also commented here), also distinguishes
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/nyt-portrait-emerges-of-anthrax.html – CachedSimilar

  5. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: September 2008

    Sep 1, 2008 Additional comments by Dr. Popov on producing anthrax …. Comments by Professor Sergei Popov on anthrax and on Dr. B.H. Rosenberg’s paper
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/2008_09_01_archive.html – Cached

  6. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Anthrax Suspicions

    Additional comments by Dr. Popov on producing anth… Tracing KIller Spores: The science behind the Comments by Professor Sergei Popov on anthrax and .
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/anthrax-suspicions-washington-post.html – Cached

  7. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: Critique of the

    Dr. Popov responded that “This argument is purely hypothetical and implies a sophisticated generation of silica particles.” (Nano-scale powders were
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/critique-of-chemical-signature.html – Cached

  8. Anthrax Vaccine — posts by Meryl Nass, M.D.: HOLT INTRODUCES

    Mar 3, 2009 It would be great to see someone like Serguei Popov leading the investigation into the science of the anthrax investigation.
    anthraxvaccine.blogspot.com/…/holt-introduces-anthrax-commission.html – Cached

==

dtic site:caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=fcW&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&q=dtic+site%3Acaseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&oq=

Popov site:caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=LdW&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&q=Popov+site%3Acaseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&oq=

==

dtic site:oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=SJr&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&q=dtic+site%3Aoldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com&aq=f&aqi=&oq=

  1. Vahid Majidi « Old Atlantic Lighthouse

    The dtic paper did 30 minute centrifuge runs and did multiple ones. So for 5 liters, which is the minimum size run he was doing, it would take 6.5 hours.
    oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/category/vahid-majidi/ – CachedSimilar

  2. Anthrax attacks « Old Atlantic Lighthouse

    The dtic paper did 30 minute centrifuge runs and did multiple ones. So for 5 liters, which is the minimum size run he was doing, it would take 6.5 hours.
    oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/category/anthrax-attacks/ – Cached

  3. 2009 February « Old Atlantic Lighthouse

    Note the paper I cite above from dtic, if you estimate that for each liter This shows the dtic paper and the Bacchus project results are consistent and
    oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/2009/02/ – Cached

The FBI footnote 25 on page 36 of document, page 40 of pdf, speaks of a standard protocol to harvest in 12 to 18 hours.

After an appropriate period of time, 12 to 18 hours was the standard protocol, the newly-grown spores would be harvested through an elaborate process, washed, and then spun down in a centrifuge to concentrate the spores.

Standard protocol for what? For producing grams of anthrax to mail to victims?  If you are producing kilograms for military scale use, you use large fermenters as in the Soviet Union facilities.  If you are producing for lab experiments, you don’t produce 5 liters of liquid material or the equivalent on plates.  You produce a tiny amount for use.

Dr. Popov in his initial thinking at Meryl Nass was thinking of what would be quite small.  That is the normal lab thinking.  Which is not to produce grams to send out in letters to kill people.  The standard protocol is to produce a few small plates, enough to go in a test tube or on a plate under a microscope.  They don’t make liters of the stuff for a lab experiment.

So the standard protocol phrase gives it away.  Its not the standard protocol to produce grams of anthrax powder, its the standard protocol to produce micrograms or milligrams on plates for use in a lab experiment.

Why didn’t the FBI have Laura Carey et al read their report?  Why didn’t they write the section and do the numbers?  Because they had already agreed to testify in 2004 for the FBI and USDOJ that based on their paper and their analysis of the numbers, it would have taken days using proper equipment to grow the 5+ grams of anthrax in the first batch of letters and 2+ grams in the second set and that their results exclude Bruce Ivins specifically and all others like him.

So Laura Carey et al couldn’t come back in 2010 to prepare or even review a report claiming Ivins did it in a weekend in September and then over a week in October but at night when he couldn’t do continuous runs during the week using a New Brunswick C-25 400 pound incubator shaker as Laura Carey et al did.  These are people with names.  Let the journalists call them up and ask them.  If they say they can’t comment, report that.

==

The 1 volume 888 page Warren Commission report contained an appendix reviewing alternative theories and giving reasons against them.  This was not in the FBI report in 2010, 9 years after the 2001 attacks, despite blogs being full of them.  Including blogs focused on them with experts commenting such as Meryl Nass and Weinstein’s Case Closed.

http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/appendix-12.html

http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/

Volume 1 was printed in 1964, 1 year after the Kennedy assassination.  That was in the days of typewriters.  The FBI only had to cut and paste from blogs and then give their reasons the alternative theory is wrong.  They didn’t do that.  Even Ed Lake talks about alternative theories.

http://www.anthraxinvestigation.com/

The FBI doesn’t cite this Laura Carey et al paper that likely they commissioned for use at trial against Hatfill to exclude Ivins specifically by name.  Its time that is tracked down and put in the public record.  Isn’t that what they give Pulitzer Prizes for?  Or used to?  Isn’t that 19th century Nellie Bly journalism from the Golden Days of Investigative Reporting.  Did that end with Woodward and Bernstein?

==

The Laura Carey et al paper is a great scientific paper.  It is accessible to the lay reader.  But it requires work and you may have to Google some scientific terms.  Those have simple explanations and definitions.   Skip around in the paper don’t try to read it from start to finish.

This paper requires many rereadings to get most of it.  Some of the conclusions were held back.  Its implicit that they were surprised how variable the results were.  Ordinary lab experience of the type the FBI talked about, 12 to 18 hours, is evidently not that sensitive to the amount grown, whereas for letters there is big difference between 1 gram and .1 gram.  Every rereading you learn more, but you learn from the first one.  This is the mark of a great scientific paper which this is.

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