Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More problems in Cloneville

First, Hwang Woo-Suk publicly apologized for lying about the source of the eggs (some of them came from female researchers) used in his cloning experiments after University of Pittsburgh's Gerald Schatten publicly broke off his ties with Woo-Suk because he was misled by Woo-Suk.

Now, a South Korean television station called MBC is saying they have been contacted by one of Woo-Suk's researchers who says that "the results published by Science in 2004 were a collection of falsehoods." According to the story, "the researcher maintains that Hwang's team fabricated data because in reality it failed to clone a somatic cell and instead used a frozen embryo from the hospital to make stem cells. The researcher says the team also lied about cloning a cow."

But in South Korea, where hundreds of women have signed a list to voluntarily donate their eggs, Hwang Woo-Suk is treated like a rock star. The majority of advertisers (11 of 12) have pulled commercials from MBC's program which documented Woo-Suk's research. Some of Woo-Suk's supporters even held a protest vigil outside the MBC headquarters because the station aired a supposedly biased program on the controversy created by Woo-Suk's research.

In other cloning news, a molecular biologist from India is accusing animal cloning expert Ian Wilmut (the creator of Dolly the sheep) of racial discrimination and poaching ideas.

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