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Hwang Resigns As Apology to All Koreans
[Updated] Science commission condemns Dr. Hwang Woo Suk for 'deliberate fraud'
Terence Mitchell (terence)     Print Article 
Published 2005-12-23 15:40 (KST)   
VODDr. Hwang Woo Suk apologizes outside his Seoul lab, Dec. 23. / Pyeon J.A.

[Dec. 23, 3:30 p.m. (KST)]

Hwang Woo Suk
©2005 Nam S.Y.
Hwang Woo Suk has resigned his professorship at Seoul National University just hours after the university's investigation panel confirmed his "deliberate fabrication" of the paper published for Science this May.

He announced his resignation in front of scores of reporters and television crews that were waiting outside his research lab. In a short statement of apology, he said he hopes his resignation would compensate for "the shock and despair I inflicted to the people of Korea."

However, Hwang refused to back down on the veracity of the original technique he mastered. "I am confident that Koreans will regard our embryonic stem cell techniques as none other than their own," he said.

As his tearful research colleagues looked on, Hwang made a deep bow of apology to the army of reporters and then departed by car from his once world-famous stem cell laboratory.

[Dec. 23, 11:29 a.m. (KST)]

In a Friday morning press conference set to cause shock waves around the science world, investigation professors from Seoul National University (SNU) have stated that they have confirmed the research team led by Dr. Hwang Woo Suk fabricated data.

The professors, headed by Prof. Jung Myung Hee, also stated that they now suspect the cloning pioneer Hwang may have faked evidence of cloning in his landmark 2005 paper published last May in the American journal Science, where he claimed to have taken 11 stem cell lines from cloned human embryo cells.

Seoul National University Professor Jung Myung Hee announces the commission's findings at a Friday morning press conference in Seoul.
©2005 MBC
VODSNU Commission announces its findings, Friday morning. / Pyeon J.A.
"The only conclusion we can come to so far is that the Hwang Woo Suk team took evidence of two stem cells and manipulated to make it seem there were in fact 11," said the commission set up by SNU to determine whether Hwang had faked his research.

It said there was evidence that Hwang's team had sent not stem cells for DNA verification but has passed off two samples of cells from patients as cloned cells.

The commission also plans to extend its investigation into Hwang's 2004 paper also published with Science, amid evidence now being brought forward from among the Korean science community that it may also have been faked. SNU added that they will be looking into the 2005 Snuppy dog cloning research also headed by Hwang and his SNU team.

Meanwhile, Hwang is still adamant that he has been "framed" and yesterday reportedly brought forward charges of fraud against his junior staff member Kim Sun Jung, claimed the younger lab technician had replaced Hwang's cloned stem cells with contaminated cells, thereby explaining why the investigators cannot find any evidence of his work.

One SNU insider, when asked to comment about Hwang's move suggested Korea's fallen icon "seems to have lost his mind," alluding to the huge pressure now bearing on him to come forward and confess to the science community.

©2005 Nam S.Y.
In another surprising development, Dr. Ahn Curie, head of SNU's research lab on stem cell research and one of the co-authors on Hwang's paper, has announced she is resigning as an attending physician for Dr.Hwang as of today. This is amid allegations that she was also involved in the covering up of abnormalities concerned with Hwang's research projects.

After the morning press conference, unconfirmed reports said Dr. Hwang has announced that he would be resigning his Seoul National University professorship.

Related Articles
Let's Not Forget Hwang Is Human
Stem Cell Researcher Used More Eggs Than Reported

©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Terence Mitchell

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