The Cuyahoga County police turned to Palenik. He was quickly able to rule out anthrax, as the long spores of the anthrax bacillus are easy for an experienced observer to recognize. Determining what the substance was, on the other hand, might require some research. Palenik's file cabinets are packed with at least 10,000 reference samples-items he has collected with care, often by soliciting aid from the curators of natural history museums or from insider contacts at manufacturing companies. His collection includes metals and alloys (including particles that have been drilled, sawed, crushed with a sledgehammer, and so on), man-made fibers, human hairs, animal hairs of diverse species (he has an entire drawer full of camel hair), minerals, sands, wood, pollen, spores, leaves, seeds, food products (spices, grains, starches), polymers, synthetic drugs, explosives, and occupational dusts vacuumed from the clothing of laborers from various industries.