I’m the first to admit that, sitting here in the middle of NYC, I started tuning out the news about anthrax pretty early, maybe in a fit of denial. Because of that, I found the New Scientist’s catch-up article on everything that’s happened in the anthrax investigation pretty enlightening. For instance, I didn’t know that it’s now a definitive fact that the anthrax came from the U.S. military strain; I also didn’t know that the army has continued to produce weaponized anthrax. The investigation is ongoing, and in part hinges on the development of techniques to allow the differentiation of the strains of anthrax at each of the dozen U.S. research facilities (which all derive from the same one). At each stage, though, it’s become clear that nobody was prepared to investigate something like this, and we may end up having to rely on the very institutions for protection which were compromised and allowed the anthrax release to occur in the first place.