Bioterrorism expert Leonard Cole discussed the science behind the Anthrax attacks and shared theories as to who may have been involved. The creation of powdered anthrax such as was used in the 2001 attacks, could be done by someone with a high school or college background in how to grow bacteria, he said.
In fact the attackers were able to cause a huge havoc for a small overlay in the right lab set-up (under $20,000) he commented. The US, he estimated, spent around $4 billion decontaminating buildings such as post offices and in man hours in security and investigation during the 2001 letter incidents. The evidence is unclear as to whether the attacks originated from a domestic or foreign source, he added.
Smallpox is potentially a greater threat than Anthrax said Cole, who noted that the vaccines people took as children may have lost their effectiveness. A large stockpile of emergency vaccines are available however, and he suggested that medical personnel are now more aware of possible symptoms from bio-agents than they were before 2001.
First half-hour guest, environmental scientist Dr. Greg Asner discussed the Amazon drought which has now been measured in space. This satellite technology which has been evolving over the last 5 years allows the molecular composition of a land mass and levels of water to be read, he explained. Asner detailed that the utilization of fire to clear areas in the Amazon may be related to the drought. He also noted that the deforestation and desertification that is occurring there is likely to diminish the biodiversity, and also could affect climate on a global scale.
Bumper music from Wednesday June 16, 2004