Ivins Borrowed Anthrax-Drying Machine

Device was made to render spore powder from culture samples
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 10:11 AM CDT
Investigators claim anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins had access to a device used to render powder from wet germ cultures.   (AP Photo/Steve Miller, File)
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(Newser) – The government’s lead suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks, Bruce Ivins, borrowed a device from his Army bioweapons lab designed to turn germ cultures into dry powder, the Washington Post reports. The machine, known as a lyopholizer, was not commonly borrowed, and had to have been formally checked out—leaving a paper trail now being pursued by investigators.

Scientists at Ivins’ former labs say the device could have processed a few small batches of anthrax in less than a single day. A former colleague of Ivins’ notes that Ivins was part of at least one military project that would have given him legitimate reason to utilize the drying machine.