U.S. Border Authorities Bust Canadian Scientist With 22 Vials Used in Ebola Research

The good news is that the materials were supposedly non-infectious. The bad news is that, as we learned from the anthrax attacks, some labs around the world still lack proper security measures to prevent materials from being removed.  Consider this case another warning.

ebola virus/photo bio.davidson.edu
ebola virus/photo bio.davidson.edu

By Philip Ling
Canwest News Service

A Canadian scientist was stopped at the U.S. border last week after authorities found 22 vials used in Ebola research from Canada’s National Microbiology Lab in his possession, officials said Wednesday.

The incident has sparked controversy and serious questions about security protocols at the Winnipeg lab that contains some of the world’s deadliest pathogens.

Konan Michel Yao, 42, was apprehended by U.S. officials as he attempted to cross the border at Pembina, North Dakota, from Manitoba on May 5. Yao faces U.S. criminal charges for smuggling.

Yao was carrying unidentified biological materials in vials wrapped in aluminum foil inside a glove, wrapped in a plastic bag in the trunk of his car, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman Mike Milne told Reuters.

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