Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tenth anniversary of 9-11 science news linkspam

All of the following were the 9-11 10th anniversary stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (10th Anniversary of 9-11 edition) on Daily Kos last night. This week's featured stories come from the Philadelphia Inquirer, MSNBC, and Wired and are over the jump.

Five Philadelphia CSI team members relive their time at ground zero
By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
September 09, 2011
They are the eyes and ears of death.

A small team of Philadelphia Police Department investigators who possess uncommon curiosity, extraordinary patience - and strong stomachs.

For that, they were sent to ground zero a decade ago to help at the largest crime scene in American history.

And for that, they are left, a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, full of memories that refuse to be tamed.
Not only are there still people dealing with their memories of working on the crime scene, there are people who are still working on the investigation.

MSNBC: Crime lab stays on the 9/11 case
By Alan Boyle
Forensic scientists are continuing to identify remains from 9/11 victims, and they could still be working on the case 10 years from now. Ten years after the terror attacks, thousands of bits of bone found where the World Trade Center's twin towers fell are unidentified, and 1,124 of the 2,753 known victims have not yet been matched up with any remains.

Mark Desire, who heads up the identification effort for the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, notes that the crime lab handles about 500 homicides and 2,000 sexual-assault cases a year, and thousands of other investigations. But the 9/11 case is special.

"As a forensic scientist, you're taught not to get emotionally involved," he told me today. "But the World Trade Center ... that's the exception."

This weekend, he and his colleagues will be meeting with the families of the victims, going over everything that's been accomplished over the past year and everything they hope to do over the next year. It's what he's done on every anniversary since the attacks.
There are also lessons still to be learned, including which lessons were the wrong one.

How U.S. Learned the Wrong Health Lessons From 9/11
By Brandon Keim
September 9, 2011
In the fall of 2001, the United States was confronted by two major public health challenges: the anthrax mailings and threat of a biological attack, and the subtler but ultimately more harmful plume of toxic dust that that rose from Ground Zero. The country was prepared for neither.

In the months and years that followed, bioterror proved to be the easier threat to confront, or at least to spend money on. The plume’s damage was harder to address, not least because government officials prematurely insisted on its safety. In both cases, one theme is universal: The wrong decisions were made, and lessons have been incompletely learned.

“I keep getting asked: Are we safer today than on 9/11?” says Laurie Garrett, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of I Heard the Sirens Scream, a new book on 9/11 and its public health aftermath. “My answer is that we’ve spent an enormous amount of money, but I’m not at all convinced that the expenses have made us safer.” talked to Garrett about biodefense, the Ground Zero plume and what can be learned.
I'll share my account of what I did on 9-11 later. That will be an interesting return.

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