a. PCR is not a conformation
b. Rat a screen but not a confirmation as well
From our source:
...he CDC planned additional PCR tests to confirm if the powder contained ricin. Also, Army scientists were to inject samples of the powder found in Frist's office into laboratory animals to see if they become ill, said a federal health official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no threatening letter or note linked to the powder has been found.
Democrat Tom Daschle of South Dakota, majority leader in 2001 when deadly anthrax was found in letters sent to his office and the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., called the ricin discovery "obviously a criminal act."
"I believe that it is an act of terrorism," Daschle said. "It certainly is criminal. I don't draw a distinction between the two, frankly."
Some senators opened temporary work areas in the Capitol on Tuesday.
"There's sort of an odd sense of deja vu with the anthrax and that this is happening again," said Tessa Hafen, a spokeswoman for Sen. .Harry Reid of Nevada, the senate's No. 2 Democrat.
A U.S. government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that although ricin is a harmful toxin, the situation in the Frist's office does not bear the marks of international terrorism.
"Somebody in all likelihood manufactured this with intent to harm," Frist told his colleagues at the opening of the Senate session.
In 2001, an anthrax-laced letter shut down Congress briefly and closed the Hart Senate Office Building for months of expensive cleaning. Five people were killed and 17 sickened nationwide after coming into contact with letters containing anthrax. An investigation continues.
A clue to ricin poisoning is a suddenly developed fever, cough and excess fluid in the lungs, a fact sheet from CDC says. These symptoms could be followed by severe breathing problems and possibly death, it said. There is no known antidote.