From the Associated Press via the Washington Post . . .

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A University of Pittsburgh geneticist will pay a $500 fine but avoid prison for sending bacteria to an artist friend for an exhibition.

Dr. Robert Ferrell pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor count of mailing an injurious article to Dr. Steven Kurtz, a University at Buffalo faculty member and artist who still faces federal charges for obtaining the cultures.

“I’m glad it’s behind me,” Ferrell, 64, said after being sentenced in U.S. District Court Monday to a year of unsupervised release before a roomful of supporters from the arts and academia.

The government’s prosecution has angered many artists, who see it as an attempt to stifle the type of politically charged work undertaken by Kurtz’s Critical Art Ensemble. The group has taken aim at government policy toward things such as germ warfare and genetically modified foods.

Full story . . .