Dr. Jacques Ravel of U Maryland, formerly of the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), spoke at the MIT faculty club on December 16, 2008 to discuss the scientific evaluation of the anthrax letters’ spores.
I requested but did not receive an invitation to the event (despite my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from MIT and some expertise in the subject). The slides were shared with me later, but each is labeled “do not distribute.”
So I will not share them. They should be posted soon on an MIT website associated with the program that brought Ravel to MIT.
Of interest, the morphologic variations in spore colonies were not entirely identical between the NY Post and Leahy letters. Slide 16 indicates that 5 variations were found in Leahy’s anthrax, and (only) 3 of those 5 variations were found in the Post anthrax. No other samples had these 3 variations but some (of greater than 1,100 samples screened) had 1 or 2.
There were no genetic polymorphisms between the 2 samples or a wild-type Ames.
Also of interest, Professor Ravel pays a lot of attention to the criminal-legal aspects of the case and the rules of evidence for trial.
An early article on the genomic studies in the Times is worth a read for comparison.