Re: anthrax detection on the cheap...

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Mon Oct 22 2001 - 15:12:01 MDT

Crap, garbage and useless information...

*WHY* isn't there an "author" for the post?

What the article fails to point out is:

> Biological Defense products and services offered by Alexeter Technologies
> are only available for sale to certified hazardous material specialists,
> experienced private security agencies and qualified Federal, state and
> municipal laboratories and research facilities. No sales will be made to
> the general public.

I think that probably makes the information useless for most of the
ExI list readership.

As their FAQ points out:

> BTA Test Strips are a type of analytical test known as an "immunoassay"...
> In order to claim 100% accuracy, it would be necessary to test every known
> substance for cross-reactivity. Since this is impossible as a practical
> matter, percent accuracy is determined from statistical calculations based
> upon the number of substances actually tested. No antibody-based test
> anywhere can ever be claimed as 100% accurate!

Can you say "false-positives"?

And then of course:
> BTA(TM) Test Strip
> Simple, easy-to-use test strip system for rapid, on-site analysis of unknown
> biological samples... specific test for Anthrax (no cross-reaction to other

So you can't buy the reagents even if you can own the test instrument.


Back to the Economics article:
> The other is to amplify and identify its DNA. [snip]
> and the second is a sophisticated technique that few laboratories are yet
> able to manage. So, even if the result is negative, chaos may already have
> been caused and the act of terrorism rewarded.

Caca... More chaos is generated by the false positives. Any laboratory
equipped to do PCR (which is all major universities, most large microbiology
laboratories, e.g. hospitals, as well as police crime labs) could manage
to identify Anthrax DNA in a sample in 4-6 hours (*if* they were told how
to do it). Most of the major universities have people who could go through
the databases, figure out which primers are needed for the PCR and write
up a protocol.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:15 MDT