Scientists complete scientific report on 2001 anthrax attacks

Scientists from the University of Maryland recently completed the first scientific report that investigates the 2001 anthrax attacks.

The paper was released by the University’s Institute for Genome Sciences and was finished with information gathered and shared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to

The paper centers on the use of microbiology and genomics in the course of the criminal investigation. The nature of the anthrax attacks also pushed the scientists to use microbial forensics in their report.

University researchers are working towards the advancement of microbial forensics since it would, most likely, play a role in the investigation of any kind of bioterror attack, reports.

The paper was published online in the journal the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

More than 20 people contracted anthrax as a result of the 2001 attacks and five people died. During the attacks, envelopes containing anthrax in the form of a white powder were sent to the offices of lawmakers and media outlets.

The FBI believes a sole individual is responsible for the mailings - Bruce Ivins, a U.S. Army scientist who worked at the Army’s biodefense lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Ivins committed suicide as authorities closed in on him as their suspect.