To ring out 2004, The Scientist revisited several of the year's best-read stories. See "Following up, part 1," for more updates.

Artist bacteria case becoming costly

Steven Kurtz, the Buffalo art professor awaiting trial on federal charges of mail and wire fraud, has received a worldwide outpouring of financial and emotional support since his case made national news this summer.

Kurtz and Pittsburgh genetics professor Robert Ferrell were both indicted in July after Ferrell shipped bacteria to Kurtz to use in an art project. That act allegedly violated a materials transfer agreement Ferrell had signed with the supplying company promising he would keep the bacteria inside his own lab. Kurtz pleaded not guilty in July and is free on bond. Ferrell has still not been arraigned, however, because he has been seriously ill and undergoing medical treatment since early summer.

Since July Kurtz's and Ferrell's supporters have raised...

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