Beth Israel Deaconess researcher arrested for attempting to smuggle lab samples to China

A Chinese cancer researcher is being held without bail after stealing biological samples from Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with the intent to publish results in China, The New York Times reports.

The researcher, Zaosong Zheng, was stopped by customs at the Boston airport with 21 vials of cancer cells hidden in his luggage. He admitted to stealing eight samples and replicating 11, according to the report. Mr. Zheng was arrested Dec. 10, and a judge approved a motion to hold Mr. Zheng without bail on Dec. 30. Prosecutors allege Mr. Zheng's theft may have been part of a coordinated effort with Chinese government involvement, according to the report.

Mr. Zheng is one of about 180 Chinese scientists under investigation by the FBI for potential intellectual property theft.

Beth Israel is cooperating with the investigation. "Any efforts to compromise research undermine the hard work of our faculty and staff to advance patient care," Jennifer Kritz, Beth Israel's director of communication, told The New York Times.

Read more here.

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