A biodefense researcher committed suicide this week, just as the US government was about to indict him for the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and caused a national panic. The microbiologist, Bruce E. Ivins, whose death was first reported today (August 1) in the linkurl:Los Angeles Times,;http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-anthrax1-2008aug01,0,2864223.story?page=1, was a top scientist at a US Army biodefense research facility in Fort Detrick, Md., where he worked on developing an anthrax vaccine. He was also closely involved in analyzing samples from the 2001 attacks. Ivins's suicide comes just a month after the US government paid out $5.8 million to settle a lawsuit brought by linkurl:Steven J. Hatfill,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54807/ a biodefense researcher and colleague of Ivins and long the unofficial primary suspect in the case despite the absence of clear evidence. According to the Times, Army officials had questioned Ivins in 2001 because he had failed to report anthrax...

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