15 December 2005

Cloning study fabricated?

A former colleague of South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk is charging that some of Hwang's human cloning work may have been "fabricated."

A former American colleague of South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk is charging that some of Hwang's much-heralded human cloning work may have been "fabricated."

In a letter to the journal Science, University of Pittsburgh researcher Gerald Schatten demanded that the journal remove him as senior author of a report published in June that outlined how cloning was used to create individual stem cell colonies for 11 patients, the Associated Press reported.

That study received international acclaim as groundbreaking research. Since then, Hwang has admitted to some ethical lapses and minor data reporting errors.

Substantial doubts cast
"My careful re-evaluation of published figures and tables, along with new problematic information, now casts substantial doubts about the paper's accuracy," Schatten wrote. "Over the weekend, I received allegations from someone involved with the experiments that certain elements of the report may be fabricated."

Schatten won't make any further comments while the University of Pittsburgh investigates the matter, university spokeswoman Jane Duffield told the AP.

While Science acknowledged receiving the letter, it did not plan to release it because it contained what a journal spokesperson said were " unsubstantiated allegations." The journal also said it has no reason to believe that Hwang's primary finding "is in any way fraudulent or questionable," the AP reported.

Hwang was not available for comment, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more: A genetic milestone reached

December 2005


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