NEW YORK, Nov. 28—Researchers at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) have sequenced the anthrax genome, The New York Times reported today. The sequencing was done to aid the ongoing criminal investigation into the origin of the anthrax that has killed five people and sickened 13 others.
TIGR sequenced two samples of the toxic bacterium, one derived from a contaminated letter found in Florida, and another taken from a standard laboratory strain.
Data from the finished sequence will not be made public, TIGR director Claire Fraser told the newspaper, until the FBI reviews the work. It may be released within a month, but Fraser said that the FBI may instead request that the data remain secret.
The sequence data may help investigators track the source of the bacteria, and gain insight into how the letters were prepared and sent.
TIGR's work was funded by a $200,000 emergency National Science Foundation grant.