May 15, 2009

Disgraced scientist claims breakthrough

A breakthrough in creating stem-cell lines from cloned pig embryos will restore the reputation of South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk, a colleague said.

Hwang's new work could advance research in extracting stem cells from cloned human embryos, said Hyuan Sang-hwan, a key colleague of Hwang's at the Sooam Biotech Research Center.

Hwang began working at Sooam after he was dismissed in 2004 from Seoul National University, where some of his gene studies were exposed as fraudulent.

His new work with cloned pigs will put to rest any doubts about his skills and knowledge as a scientist, Hyuan told The Korea Times in a story published Friday.

Hwang's study is to be published several months from now in Zygote, a peer-review journal. Until then, Hyun and Hwang have declined to comment on how many stem-cell lines were produced from the cloned pig embryos or the techniques used to produce them, the Times reported.