derived, sampled (or combined), and then stored for different periods in several ways and for diverse scientific purposes in many laboratories. The FBI collected substantial information, or metadata, about many or all of these samples including details of historical derivation, mode of sampling and storage, and so forth. As was appropriate, the genetic screening of the samples in the collection was performed in a “blind” fashion so that this information would not influence the test results. If a future bioterrorism event requires the establishment of a sample repository, attention should be paid to the structure of the database and the inclusion of (or ways to link to) any and all relevant metadata.
Finding 6.10: The evidentiary material from this case is, and will be, immensely valuable, especially in the event of future work on either this case or other cases involving biological terrorism or warfare. It is critically important to continue to preserve all remaining evidentiary material and samples collected during the course of this (the anthrax letters investigation) and future investigations, including the overseas environmental samples, for possible additional studies.
Recent and future advances in scientific methods and insight may provide the means to extract additional valuable information from case-associated material and samples. In addition, in the event of a future biological attack, these materials and samples may prove useful for comparative analyses. Therefore, despite the closure of this case, all remaining case-associated materials and samples should be retained and preserved for possible further studies.