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Microbiologist Arrested for Smuggling Materials

A Canadian researcher is in U.S. custody after attempting to smuggle 22 vials of biological materials into the United States. Konan Michel Yao was arrested at the border between North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba on 5 May, according to this AFP story.

Yao worked until recently at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory, doing research on vaccines for Ebola and HIV. He told U.S. border guards that he was carrying the vials to his new job at the National Institutes of Health. Although the materials in his possession were not infectious, and authorities don't believe it was a case of attempted terrorism, the case is likely to add to concerns about the security of labs that house dangerous pathogens. Yao could face smuggling charges.