Week 68 Forensic Science Geek of the Week is Announced

The Forensic Science Geek of the Week

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Forensic Science Geek of the Week

The week 68 “www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com Forensic Science Geek of the Week” honors goes to: Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar, PhD.

Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar McShane, PhD
Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar McShane, PhD is our Geek of the Week

According to the website of Geek, the following is offered:

Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar, PhD is a Scientist Emeritus with the National Institutes of Health-National Cancer Institute-Cell and Cancer Biology Branch.

Dr. Vonderhaar received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After postdoctoral training in mammary gland biology with Yale Topper at the NIH, she joined the NCI where she studies prolactin action in breast cancer. She was the first to purify a prolactin receptor from any source and the first to characterize a monoclonal antibody directed against the human prolactin receptor. She was also the first to demonstrate that human breast cancer cells synthesize and secrete significant amounts of biologically active prolactin. She serves as Chief of the Mammary Biology and Tumorigenesis Laboratory, Co-Chair of the Breast and Gynecologic Malignancies Faculty, Co-Chair of the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium and Co-Chair of the Intramural Program for Research on Women’s Health. Dr. Vonderhaar is a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service.

Congratulations to our Forensic Science Geek of the Week winner!


1. Identify what is depicted in the three pictures?

2. How are they all interlinked?

3. What importance do they have in the world of forensic science?

4. What is the most current information about it?

Our Geek of the Week answered:

The man pictured at the top is Steven Hatfill, a bio-weapons expert who was first investigated as the person responsible for the high-profile terrorist campaign of anthrax attacks immediately after 9/11 in which five people were killed and another 17 injured. He was eventually exonerated. Another suspect, Bruce Edwards Ivins (pictured at the bottom), became the focus of investigation in April 2005. Ivins was a scientist who worked at the government’s biodefense labs at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD. On July 27, 2008, Ivins committed suicide after learning that murder charges were about to be filed against him. A report published in February 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the FBI did not have enough scientific evidence to produce a conviction, had the case gone to trial. Among their many criticisms, the authors found that the link between the anthrax used in the attacks and a supply which Dr Ivins kept in his lab was “not as strong” as the agency suggested. They found that, although the type of anthrax used in the letters was correctly identified as the Ames strain of the bacterium, there was insufficient scientific evidence for the FBI’s assertion that it originated from Ivins’ laboratory. A recent article published in the Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefence also highlighted several inconsistencies in the forensic evidence against Dr Ivins, raising speculation that the FBI got the wrong man, and then prematurely closed their investigation following his death. The report, co-authored by three scientists, says that detectives failed to properly analyze the dried anthrax spores (the middle picture) that were used in the attacks, which took place over several weeks following the September 11 bombings in 2001. Analysis of the white powder, which was sent through the postal service to news organizations and politicians, showed that it contains unexpected traces of tin. That suggests a high degree of manufacturing skill, contrary to official conclusions that the attacks were part of a relatively-unsophisticated campaign carried out by Dr Ivins alone.


[BLOGGER’S NOTE: What a great answer. Thank you for participating. Congratulations on being our Geek of the Week.

Frontline on PBS did an amazing documentary. It was called Frontline: The Anthrax Files. I would commend that to you to watch:


The Hall of Fame for the www.TheTruthAboutForensicScience.com Forensic Science Geek of the Week:

Week 1: Chuck Ramsay, Esquire

Week 2: Rick McIndoe, PhD

Week 3: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 4: Stephen Daniels

Week 5: Stephen Daniels

Week 6: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

Week 7: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 8: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 9: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 10: Kelly Case, Esquire and Michael Dye, Esquire

Week 11: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 12: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 13: Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 14: Josh Lee, Esquire

Week 15: Joshua Dale, Esquire and Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 16: Christine Funk, Esquire

Week 17: Joshua Dale, Esquire

Week 18: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 19: Amanda Bynum, Esquire

Week 20: Josh Lee, Esquire

Week 21: Glen Neeley, Esquire

Week 22:  Stephen Daniels

Week 23:  Ron Moore, B.S., J.D.

Week 24: Bobby Spinks

Week 25:  Jon Woolsey, Esquire

Week 26: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 27: Richard Middlebrook, Esquire

Week 28:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 29: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 30: C. Jeffrey Sifers, Esquire

Week 31: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 32: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 33: Andy Johnston

Week 34: Ralph R. Ristenbatt, III

Week 35: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 36: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 37: Jeffrey Benson

Week 38: Pam King, Esquire

Week 39: Josh Lee, Esquire

Week 40: Robert Lantz, Ph.D.


Week 42: Steven W. Hernandez, Esquire

Week 43:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 44: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 45: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 46:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 47:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 47:Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 48: Leslie M. Sammis, Esquire

Week 49: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 50: Jeffery Benson

Week 51: Mehul B. Anjaria

Week 52: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 53: Eric Ganci, Esquire

Week 54: Charles Sifers, Esquire and Tim Huey, Esquire

Week 55: Joshua Andor, Esquire

Week 56: Brian Manchester, Esquire

Week 57: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 58: Eric Ganci, Esquire

Week 59: Ron Moore, Esquire

Week 60: Brian Manchester, Esquire



Week 63: Ginger Moss

Week 64: Richard L. Holcomb, Esquire

Week 65: John L. Buckley, Esquire

Week 66: Jeff Sifers, Esquire


Week 68: Dr. Barbara Vonderhaar, PhD.


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