A former researcher at Michigan State University has been jailed for ten months and ordered to repay his research grant after he admitted faking the theft of bacteria.
Scott Doree was supposed to be developing a vaccine that would protect pigs against a deadly form of pneumonia. However, after four years, he had nothing to show for his work. So he faked the theft of two strains of bacteria that cause the illness from a university science building.
Federal authorities, worried about terrorism, alerted pig farmers and vets to watch herds for signs of illness.
Dr Doree was charged with mail fraud and making false statements to the FBI after Michigan found that no one had forced entry to the lab. Prosecutors said he had staged the break-in to conceal his "sheer laziness".