Li Ning, a former researcher at China Agricultural University, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a Chinese court for embezzling research funds, Nature News reports.
It adds that Li was well known in China for his work on cloning and genetically modifying animals, especially for engineering goats to express an earthworm protein and for cows to express a human milk protein. But Li was arrested along with a number of other researchers in 2014 on research grant misuse allegations, according to Nature News.
Earlier this month, a Chinese court found that Li stole 34.1 million yuan (about US $4.9 million) in research grants between July 2008 and February 2012 — from what Nature News called "mega" research projects — and used that money to fund his companies, it adds, noting that Zhang Lei, Li's former assistant was also found to have helped in the embezzling and was sentenced to five or more years. Chinese media are reporting that Li plans to appeal, it adds.