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  • » 11/29/2006, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    "Cloning pioneer" want to manipulate human cells again

    Theresa Kim Hwa-young

    Hwang Woo-suk, disgraced after his fake experiments on embryonic stem cells, claimed that he could produced cloned cells "to measure" within six months, starting out from embryonic stem cells.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – The disgraced cloning "pioneer", South Korean Hwang Woo-suk, hopes to "resume human embryonic stem cell research as soon as possible"  despite serious scandals surrounding his work and the revoking of his licence as national researcher. This was confirmed yesterday by his lawyer Lee Geon-haeng.

    The lawyer said: "Hwang wants to work on human embryonic stem cells again. He seems to think that creating patient-specific stem cells is the only way to apologize for what he has done.

    The vet, who was once a "national hero", fell into disgrace after the international scientific community and the capital's university revealed that results of his research on embryonic stem cells were fabricated in the laboratory to give the impression that he had managed to clone healthy cells from sick people stricken by diseases for which no cure is currently available.

    Hwang used to be considered one of the foremost scientists in the world in the genetic field. The results of his research were published in 2004 and 2005 in two issues of the major US scientific journal Science in which the researcher claimed he had created stem cell lines with the cloning of human embryos.

    However, Science withdrew both articles after the Seoul National University (SNU) revealed his studies were faked and stem cells had not been created genetically but had come from donor eggs.

    Since May, Hwang has been on trial for misappropriation of state and private funds worth an estimated 2.8 billion won (around 2.5 million euros) and for buying eggs needed for his experiments, a practice forbidden by the country's bioethics law. Consequently, the government withdrew the researcher's license. If guilty, he faces up to three years in jail.

    The lawyer said Hwang's decision to return to work was rooted in his "confidence that he could create cloned cells in about half a year". However, Lee has not explained how Hwang will manage to resume his manipulation of human eggs after the National Consultative Ethics Committee for Life revoked his licence as a researcher, accusing him "unethical decisions in the course of his experiments".

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    See also

    18/12/2007 KOREA
    The false “cloning pioneer” wants to work on stem cells again
    Hwang Woo-suk, who fraudulently claimed to have succeeded in cloning human embryonic stem cells from patients with incurable diseases, has applied for a government permit to carry out new stem cell research. The authorities are “puzzled” by his request.

    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.



    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.

    03/08/2005 SOUTH KOREA
    Leading cloning scientists in Seoul for "secret experiments"


    25/10/2006 SOUTH KOREA
    Hwang bought mammoth tissue from Russian mafia with state funds

    The defence of Hwang Woo-suk, who falsely claimed that he had cloned stem cells, started yesterday in his trial for misappropriation of state and private funds. The vet admitted that the mafia helped him in his experiments but did not explain how.





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