"The anthrax letters event of 2001 has raised our awareness of the potential importance of non-biological measurements on samples of biological agents used in a terrorism incident. Such measurements include a variety of mass spectral, spectroscopic, and other instrumental techniques that are part of the current armamentarium of the modern materials analysis or analytical chemistry laboratory. They can provide morphological, trace element, isotopic, and other molecular 'fingerprints' of the agent that may be key pieces of evidence, supplementing that obtained from genetic analysis or other biological properties. The generation and interpretation of such data represents a new domain of forensic science, closely aligned with other areas of 'microbial forensics.' This paper describes some major elements of the R&D agenda that will define this sub-field in the immediate future and provide the foundations for a coherent national capability."
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: http://www.uscis.gov/
AAAS Annual Conference Washington, DC, United States February 17, 2005 - February 20, 2005