Geneticist pleads guilty to misdemeanor in "art bioterror" case

Robert Ferrell, a geneticist at the University of Pittsburgh who was linkurl:indicted;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22260/ in June, 2004, along with Steven Kurtz, an artist at the State University of New York in Buffalo, after Ferrell shipped bacteria to Kurtz to use in an art project, pled guilty yesterday to charges of "mailing an injurious article,"

By | October 12, 2007

Robert Ferrell, a geneticist at the University of Pittsburgh who was linkurl:indicted;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22260/ in June, 2004, along with Steven Kurtz, an artist at the State University of New York in Buffalo, after Ferrell shipped bacteria to Kurtz to use in an art project, pled guilty yesterday to charges of "mailing an injurious article," according a linkurl:report;http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--artvsterror1011oct11,0,7989955.story by the AP. The men were originally charged with mail and wire fraud in connection with Ferrell's purchase of samples of two common bacteria, Serratia marcescens and Bacillus atrophaeus, for Kurtz to use in his biotechnology-related art projects. That charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison under the Patriot Act -- both originally pled not guilty. Ferrell, 64, who has non-Hodgkins lymphoma and has suffered three strokes since the case began, agreed to the lesser charge to avoid prolonging the case, according to a statement issued by his family yesterday. "I remain unable to wrap my mind around the absurdity of the government's pursuit of this case and I am saddened that it has been dragged out to the point where my dad opted to settle from pure exhaustion," wrote his daughter, Gentry Farrell.

Popular Now

  1. Running on Empty
    Features Running on Empty

    Regularly taking breaks from eating—for hours or days—can trigger changes both expected, such as in metabolic dynamics and inflammation, and surprising, as in immune system function and cancer progression.

  2. Athletes’ Microbiomes Differ from Nonathletes
  3. Mutation Linked to Longer Life Span in Men
  4. Gut Feeling
    Daily News Gut Feeling

    Sensory cells of the mouse intestine let the brain know if certain compounds are present by speaking directly to gut neurons via serotonin.

AAAS