May 12, 2006

It's jail-time for Hwang

Briefly blogged about this before.. but more details and an update here.
S. Korean Cloning Scientist Hwang Indicted
South Korean prosecutors indicted disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk Friday on charges of fraud, embezzlement and bioethics violations in a scandal over faked stem cell research that shook the scientific community.
Five members of Hwang's research team were indicted on lesser charges, prosecution official Lee In-kyu said in a nationally televised news conference. The 52-year-old scientist faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. The first hearing is expected in mid-June, said prosecutor Hong Man-pyo.
I say, good riddance to a guy who brought a lot of infamy to Korea and a big setback to the already controversial field of embryonic cloning and stem cell research. Life in prison does seem a harsh verdict though ...maybe he can clone himself and leave his clone to rot in jail, huh? :)


Professor Hwang Woo-suk Read the BBC's Profile & the Wikipedia entry for Hwang, from the Seoul National University

  • August 3, 2005 came the big announcement: South Korean scientists unveil first dog clone

    Snuppy the cloned puppy, Nature

    Scientists in South Korea have produced the first dog clones, they report (subscription to magazine needed to access this link) in Nature magazine... - via BBC News.

    Also read the Onion's take on dog cloning :)

    Apparently, the dogs are chasing the cats in the cloning worldalso..
    Feb 15, 2002: Copy Cat: Cat Cloning success at Texas A&M.
  • 11/24/05: South Koreans campaigned 'to save the country's pioneer in cloning, Hwang Woo-suk, who is facing a tough challenge in his stem-cell work in the wake of a scandal over violation of ethics guidelines.'
And then everything went downhill with these reports...
  • 12/2/05: Truth vs. Nationalism: Hwang Cloning Scandal Invokes Nationalism
  • 12/3/05: S Korea cloning research was fake
  • 12/15/05: Dr. Hwang Dropped from Scientific American 50 for Faking Research
  • 12/16/05: New York Times analysis: Scandal for Cloning Embryos: 'A Tragic Turn' for Science by Gina Kolata. Also read related articles in NYT:
  • 1/1/06: South Korean scientist Hwang Woo Suk, who has been indicted of faking his research data on human cloning, yesterday denied he had any involvement in doctoring data in his famous paper on human embryo cloning, published in May 2005 in the journal Science.
  • 1/10/06: Nature magazine reports with the Verdict: Hwang's human stem cells were all fake - Landmark papers shown to be fraudulent, but Snuppy turns out to be a real cloned dog. Also read this viewpoint from the BBC on 'The fall of a scientific 'rock star'' and the BBC Science editor's article on this controversy: Only last summer his government gave him the Orwellian title of "Supreme Scientist". They promised funding of up to $15m after he claimed to have extracted human stem cells from embryos he had cloned. The investigation panel did offer Dr Hwang one small saving grace - finding that Snuppy, his claimed "world first" cloned dog, is genuine.
  • 1/10/06: Science takes stock after clone row
  • 1/10/06: A good article on the issue: It was late on a Wednesday night in February 2004 that Dr Hwang Woo-suk and his entourage swept into the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seattle to meet the BBC. The South Korean scientists had just flown in to the US city to announce an astonishing breakthrough: they had cloned 30 human embryos and managed to extract stem cells from one of them. Not only was that landmark 2004 work highly dubious, Hwang's research published a year later on cloned personalised stem cell lines was also built on fabricated data.
  • 1/12/06: Prosecutors Raid Hwang’s House - Disgraced Scientist Faces Fraud, Embezzlement Charges
  • 1/12/06: Hwang apologises to South Koreans
  • 1/13/06: Disgraced gene scientist puts blame on team
  • 1/13/06: Korea's national shock at scandal
  • 1/13/06: Journal retracts Hwang research
  • 1/23/06: S Korea probes stem cell trials
  • 2/26/06: An Internet-based group of young Korean science researchers plan to document scandal surrounding discredited gene scientist Hwang Woo-suk. the
  • 3/21/06: University fires professor at centre of cloning fraud
Update: August 2006 - Researcher who faked cloning data gets new job

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