A lab worker at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering at North Dakota State who works with E. coli has developed a gastrointestinal illness, according to "In Forum" out of Fargo, North Dakota.

There has not been confirmation as to whether the illness is in fact an E. coli infection.   University officials, are however, taking precautions.

E. coli is a family bacteria, some of whose members cause severe gastrointestinal illness.  Best known among these is E. coli O157:H7.   E. coli O157:H7 infection can lead to a complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).   HUS is a potentially fatal condition that also may leave survivors with permanent kidney injury.

I was not able to find evidence of a reported incidence of E. coli infection linked to laboratory research previous to this potential case.