RealNews

Trial Set for Texas Bubonic Plague Scientist

A university professor was set for trial on Monday in Lubbock, Texas on charges he lied to federal agents about missing vials of bubonic plague bacteria in a case that has fellow scientists up in arms. Thomas Butler, who was chief of the Infectious Disease division at Texas Tech University’s medical school, faces 69 federal charges carrying a maximum cumulative sentence of 469 years and $17 million in fines. The U.S. scientific community has closed ranks behind Butler, saying a government caught up in President Bush’s “war on terrorism” is being overzealous in prosecuting one of the nation’s leading plague researchers and that the case would have a chilling effect on research. Full Story

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