Hwang’s Colleagues to Retract False Embryonic Stem Cell Research Paper

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 4, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Hwang’s Colleagues to Retract False Embryonic Stem Cell Research Paper Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 4, 2006

Seoul, South Korea (LifeNews.com) — The scientists who co-authored a seminal 2005 paper published in the medial journal Science claiming Hwang Woo-suk’s research team created patient-specific embryonic stem cells have agreed to withdraw the paper after all of the cells were proven to be fraudulent.

The paper was hailed last May when it was published as a breakthrough in finally helping embryonic stem cell research overcome the huge problem of a patient’s immune system rejecting transplants of embryonic stem cells.

However, a recent probe by Seoul National University, where Hwang’s team is based, found that all 11 of the specialized embryonic stem cells were fabricated.

Science had asked the researchers who co-authored the paper with Hwang to agree to revoke it or it said it would issue an editorial saying the paper was no longer considered truthful.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Science said it would publish a retraction next week after SNU releases its final report on Hwang’s research.

"Science hopes this approach will yield a retraction that will convey accurately as much information as possible to the scientific community,” the statement said.

Ginger Pinholster, a Science spokeswoman, told Bloomberg News that the medical journal still has concerns about a 2004 paper Hwang’s team published claiming to be the first to have successfully cloned human embryos.

"They’re going to cross that bridge next,” she said in a telephone interview, about whether Science wants that paper withdrawn as well.

The SNU probe will also touch on the research behind that paper and will investigate whether or not Hwang’s team successfully cloned an Afghan hound named Snuppy, in what was claimed to be the first cloned dog.