by Steven Ertelt
February 13, 2006
Seoul, South Korea (LifeNews.com) — The embryonic stem cell research he and his team conducted has been proven fraudulent , but disgraced South Korea scientist Hwang Woo-suk still wants to keep his license to be able to conduct stem cell and cloning research.
Hwang has asked the government not to cancel his license until prosecutors are finished investigating whether his team embezzled and misspent public and government funds.
The Health and Welfare Ministry told Hwang last month that it was planning to revoke his license after Seoul National University determined that all of the embryonic stem cell research Hwang’s team conducted was falsified.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing a leading government official, reported that Hwang wants the government to wait.
"The professor said that depending on the results of the investigations, the papers published in the journal Science in 2004 and 2005 could be resubmitted or rewritten," the official told Yonhap.
Hwang’s was the only research team in the country that had been given an official government license to undertake the research.
Last week, SNU prohibited Hwang and six other members of his team from teaching or conducting research there. Hwang was a professor of veterinary medicine.
Prosecutors have been questioning other Hwang associates in the investigation and will soon be talking to Hwang himself.
Meanwhile, Hwang is suing University of Pittsburgh scientist Gerald Schatten, who is insisting on his right to use a stem cell patent using research done during his association with Hwang’s team.
Hwang’s lawyers asked SNU, to which Hwang transferred his right to apply for stem-cell related patents, to return the rights to the scientist. SNU is attempting to cancel the patent because of the research falsification.
The attorneys said Schatten had done "nothing" to create stem cells was trying to use Hwang’s technology as his own and Hwang plans to take legal action against Schatten after SNU returns the property rights to him.