(p. A10) BOSTON — Zaosong Zheng was preparing to board Hainan Airlines Flight 482, nonstop from Boston to Beijing, when customs officers pulled him aside.
Inside his checked luggage, wrapped in a plastic bag and then inserted into a sock, the officers found what they were looking for: 21 vials of brown liquid — cancer cells — that the authorities say Mr. Zheng, 29, a cancer researcher, took from a laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Under questioning, court documents say, Mr. Zheng acknowledged that he had stolen eight of the samples and had replicated 11 more based on a colleague’s research. When he returned to China, he said, he would take the samples to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital and turbocharge his career by publishing the results in China, under his own name.
. . .
Mr. Zheng’s case is the first to unfold in the laboratories clustered around Harvard University, but it is not likely to be the last. Federal officials are investigating hundreds of cases involving the potential theft of intellectual property by visiting scientists, nearly all of them Chinese nationals.
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date December 31, 2019, and has the title “Stolen Research: Chinese Scientist Is Accused of Smuggling Lab Samples.”)