Bioforensics: Characterization of biological weapons agents by NanoSIMS

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The anthrax attacks of Fall 2001 highlight the need to develop forensic methods based on multiple identifiers to determine the origin of biological weapons agents. Genetic typing methods (i.e., DNA and RNA-based) provide one attribution technology, but genetic information alone is not usually sufficient to determine the provenance of the material. Non-genetic identifiers, including elemental and isotopic signatures, provide complementary information that can be used to identify the means, geographic location and date of production. Under LDRD funding, we have successfully developed the techniques necessary to perform bioforensic characterization with the NanoSIMS at the individual spore level. We have developed ... continued below

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PDF-file: 18 pages; size: 1.2 Mbytes

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Weber, P K; Ghosal, S; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E & Hutcheon, I D February 26, 2007.

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Description

The anthrax attacks of Fall 2001 highlight the need to develop forensic methods based on multiple identifiers to determine the origin of biological weapons agents. Genetic typing methods (i.e., DNA and RNA-based) provide one attribution technology, but genetic information alone is not usually sufficient to determine the provenance of the material. Non-genetic identifiers, including elemental and isotopic signatures, provide complementary information that can be used to identify the means, geographic location and date of production. Under LDRD funding, we have successfully developed the techniques necessary to perform bioforensic characterization with the NanoSIMS at the individual spore level. We have developed methods for elemental and isotopic characterization at the single spore scale. We have developed methods for analyzing spore sections to map elemental abundance within spores. We have developed rapid focused ion beam (FIB) sectioning techniques for spores to preserve elemental and structural integrity. And we have developed a high-resolution depth profiling method to characterize the elemental distribution in individual spores without sectioning. We used these newly developed methods to study the controls on elemental abundances in spores, characterize the elemental distribution of in spores, and to study elemental uptake by spores. Our work under this LDRD project attracted FBI and DHS funding for applied purposes.

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PDF-file: 18 pages; size: 1.2 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: UCRL-TR-228447
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036844 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036844
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846593

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • February 26, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 9:19 p.m.

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Weber, P K; Ghosal, S; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E & Hutcheon, I D. Bioforensics: Characterization of biological weapons agents by NanoSIMS, report, February 26, 2007; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846593/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.