Journal Retracts Paper Based on Faked Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 5, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Journal Retracts Paper Based on Faked Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 5, 2006

Durham, NC ( — A stem cell research journal has retracted a paper submitted by some of the scientists who worked with the South Korean research team that faked its embryonic stem cell research. The paper had a narrower focus but touted the supposed successes that never materialized.

The journal Stem Cells, a North Carolina-based publication published by AlphaMed Press, told the Associated Press the retraction was the first its 24 year history.

The publication had printed an article written by former University of Pittsburgh researchers Kim Sun-jong and Park Jong-hyuk and seven members of Hwang Woo-suk’s research team.

The paper discussed the supposed cloning of a human embryo and the creation of patient-specific embryonic stem cells, though none were ever created.

The fraud is important because embryonic stem cells have still yet to come anywhere close to being ready to treat human patients. At the same time, the use of adult stem cells has already produced dozens of treatments and cures.

Dr. Martin J. Murphy, Stem Cell’s executive editor, told AP of the retraction.

"Taken in the context of the Seoul investigation, which found that deliberate fraud was committed by some of these same authors in two papers published in the journal Science, the editors conclude that this paper strained scientific credibility," Stem Cell said in a retraction statement.

Sun-jong and Jong-hyuk, who were associates of Gerald Schatten, Hwang’s former partner who left the team when information began to surface about the fraud, have left Pitt.

The two papers Hwang’s team published in the medical journal Science were also retracted.