Perhaps, bioterrorists will not be able to spread lethal bacteria of anthrax in envelopes all over the world. Siberian biologists and physics have thought up how to adapt electron accelerator that is usually used for sterilizing medical equipment for decontamination of letters. To optimize the power of the accelerator they calculated how many bacteria could get into a human body when touching the letter infected and how many bacteria should be destroyed to avoid the tragedy.
For their experiment the scientists chose two bacteria species that form almost ineradicable spores. Both species were genetically close to anthrax. One of them is a harmless inhabitant of soils whereas the other causes a disease in insects. Its spores in the mixture with the powdered mineral kaolin can be used as insecticide.
When imitating the probable actions of mail terrorists the scientists made 60 paper packets with the sides of 50 and 25 millimeters and poured a quarter of a gram of sterile kaolin. Then several drops of suspension, which contained 10 million spores per one milliliter, were added into each packet and intensively mixed with kaolin. Then the packets were dried at 70 C and put into envelopes.
Alexander Barne | alfa
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