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  • » 06/03/2006, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    University suspends two colleagues of (fake) "cloning pioneer"

    Theresa Kim Hwa-young

    Lee Byeong-chun and Kang Seung-keun have been charged with faking, together with Wang Woo-suk, the results of embryonic stem cell research and of embezzling public funds for the studies.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – Seoul National University (SNU) yesterday suspended two colleagues of Hwang Woo-suk, a vet and university professor charged with faking his research results on human cloning. SNU is considering taking disciplinary measures against other collaborators of Hwang, who was fired in March.

    Lee Byeong-chun and Kang Seung-keun were accused of faking the outcome of studies on cloning human stem cells while working with Hwang. The two were charged with of embezzling 290 million won (8,000) and 110 million won respectively in public funds, as they received government financing for research based on false achievements. The SNU could sack both, as it did with Hwang, but this depends on the decision of the disciplinary panel chaired by the rector of the university, Chung Un-chan.

    Hwang used to be considered as one of the world's leading scholars in the genetic field. The results of his research were published in 2004 and 2005 in two issues of the renowned US scientific journal, Science. The researcher claimed he had created stem cell lines from cloned human embryos. He would have been the first ever scientist to achieve this if the results had not been falsified. Science retracted both articles after the SNU revealed that the studies were faked, and that the stem cells had not been genetically created but had come from donors' eggs. Lee and Kang were co-authors of both articles.

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    See also

    23/02/2007 KOREA
    Stem cell research resumes after cloning scandal
    After the program was stalled for more than a year by the faked results of the “cloning pioneer”, Hwang Woo-suk, Seoul has allocated 33 million dollars for the resumption of stem cell research.

    01/08/2008 SOUTH KOREA
    Authorities deny Hwang Woo-suk the right to conduct research on human embryos
    Hwang Woo-suk is still on trial for violating bioethics laws and falsifying results of his scientific experiments.

    28/06/2006 SOUTH KOREA
    Seoul: "cloning pioneer" plans to resume stem cell research

    Hwang Woo-suk has collected private funding to set up a new laboratory, where he intends to manipulate embryonic stem cells again. It is not clear from where he will get the eggs necessary for his research, given that he no longer has a licence from the Health Ministry.



    24/05/2005 South Korea
    Tailored cloning is immoral and dangerous to women's health
    Ethicists in South Korea challenge the operation. Professor Hwang's team did not tell eggs donors about the risks involved nor did it mention the eggs would be destroyed.

    01/02/2007 SOUTH KOREA
    Seoul set to ban human egg donations
    After the scandal sparked by the fake research of the cloning “pioneer”, the National Bioethics Committee is drawing up a law that bans the donation of eggs for scientific research. There are still doubts about the donation of “surplus” eggs.



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