The sacking of two high-flying Mexican nanotechnologists has drawn attention to the problems developing world scientists can face when they return to work in their home countries.
Humberto and Mauricio Terrones Maldonado were fired from the federal Institute for Scientific and Technological Research of San Luis Potosi (IPCYT) last December for failing to include the institute in four technology patent applications; not securing proper authority to travel extensively last year and improperly working for a private university.
But the brothers deny any impropriety and blame professional jealousy for their firing.
International science leaders say that the case serves as an example of how entrenched scientific bureaucracies in developing nations can drive away promising researchers, especially those who have been trained abroad.
"I won't work in a developing nation again," says Mauricio . "Other Mexican universities are afraid to hire us," adds Humberto.