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    Please post all Dr. Hwang Woo Suk articles and comments in this thread

    All of the Dr. Hwang articles on this page have been merged into this topic.

    merge in progress....
    Last edited by antiquity; 8 Jan 2006, 8:32 PM.

    Originally posted by seneca
    All of the Dr. Hwang articles on this page have been merged into this topic.

    merge in progress....
    Not so sure one thread will be good-there are separate issues, when you put them together by chronological order they won't make sense


      Panel Refuses To Comment On Report About Hwang's 2004 Paper

      Monday January 9, 01:52 PM
      Panel Refuses To Comment On Report About Hwang's 2004 Paper

      SEOUL, Jan 9 Asia Pulse - An academic panel investigating the work of South Korea's embattled scientist Hwang Woo-suk declined to comment Monday on a news report that alleged his 2004 stem-cell study was based on incorrect data.
      "We can't confirm anything prior to our press briefing scheduled for Tuesday," said Chung Myung-hee, head of the panel at Seoul National University (SNU), where Hwang teaches.
      The refusal came after a local daily reported Hwang admitted in an interview that the DNA patterns of the stem cells kept at SNU and the ones published in the U.S. journal Science in 2004 were found to be not identical.
      Chung, who is also a medical professor at the university, said some information might have been leaked by Hwang's team prior to the panel's press briefing, hinting that the report could be true.
      Lee Byung-chun, a close partner in Hwang's study, told reporters that he was not aware of how such a report was made.
      Hwang published a paper in the journal Science in May 2005 claiming he had succeeded in producing 11 patient-specific stem cell lines.
      However, he got into trouble last November when Gerald Schatten, a reproductive biologist at the University of Pittsburgh who worked with Hwang, severed his ties with the scientist, citing ethical lapses he claimed he was not aware of when the paper was written.
      Hwang's fall from grace continued two weeks ago when the SNU panel released an interim report that said there was no evidence to back the scientist's claim that he had created patient-specific stem cells.
      The panel is scheduled to hold its press briefing Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the university to release the final results from its month-long investigation into the scandal. (Yonhap)



        ‘Hwang Admits 2004 Research Fake’

        By Kim Tae-gyu
        Staff Reporter
        Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk admitted the embryonic stem cells documented in a Science article in February 2004 were faked, according to the Kyeongin Ilbo Monday.

        The Suwon-based newspaper reported Hwang had confirmed the fact after conducting DNA tests with the stem cells at issue during an exclusive interview with the newspaper.

        ``Hwang and his researchers said that DNA fingerprint traces of stem cells kept in their lab did not match those of cells featured in Science,’’ the newspaper noted.

        ``Based on the results, a member of Hwang’s team suspected that the cloned stem cell line in the 2004 paper might be stolen or just a bogus,’’ it said.

        That claim is in tune with Hwang’s remarks that stem cells described in the 2004 article were swapped with other cells. He raised the doubts late last month via an interview with a Buddhist newspaper.


        ``At the moment, the best scenario would be this: Hwang did clone a dog and his team retains source technologies for the human therapeutic cloning. I cannot expect a better report,’’ said Park Se-pill, head at Seoul-based fertility clinic Maria Biotech.



          Hwang's cows also under scrutiny

          January 09, 2006 ? Adding to the ongoing debate over the authenticity of scientist Hwang Woo-suk's cloning research, Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation will air a program tomorrow questioning the veracity of his cloned cow.

          MBC TV's PD Notebook, a current affairs program which has been questioning Dr. Hwang's research, provided a preview of its next show, claiming that two of the three cloned cows may be fakes. The preview said that the DNA of the cloned cows did not match those of the donors.

          A Seoul National University team led by Dr. Hwang said it cloned three cows with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.


            Schatten: Pitt biologist trying to patent human cloning process


            Pitt biologist trying to patent human cloning process

            By Jennifer Bails
            Saturday, January 7, 2006

            This article was modified at 11:20 p.m. Sunday, January 8, 2006, to correct the spelling of the last name of Merrill Goozner, director of the Integrity in Science project at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest.
            A University of Pittsburgh researcher embroiled in an international cloning scandal is seeking to patent technology to create embryonic stem cells without crediting his now-estranged colleagues in South Korea, government documents show.

            The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is processing a application -- still active as of Friday -- filed on April 9, 2004, by reproductive biologist Gerald Schatten, who heads the university's Pittsburgh Development Center at Magee-Womens Research Institute in Oakland.

            Schatten and two Pitt researchers listed as co-inventors -- Calvin Simerly and Christopher Navara -- state their methods would make human cloning "a practical procedure," according to the patent application. These methods also could be used to create embryonic stem cells with the potential to cure human diseases, the application states.

            Embattled Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk claimed to have achieved these very same scientific milestones using similar techniques. The breakthrough -- now discredited -- was announced in a paper published in the journal Science in June 2005 and co-authored by Schatten.
            Every day I wake up is a good one


              Panel to report on Stem Cell work of Korean Scientist

              Panel to Report on Stem Cell Work of Korean Scientist

              SEOUL (Reuters) - There was a time when South Korea could not lavish enough awards, accolades and first class tickets on its national hero scientist, but now sponsors are wondering what to do with items they gave to now disgraced Hwang Woo-suk.

              A Seoul National University panel on Tuesday is expected to release its final report on the veracity of three major claims by Hwang's team -- developing tailored embryonic stem cells, producing the world's first cloned dog and producing the first cloned human embryos for research.
              The panel has already said there was no data to support the claims that Hwang's team produced tailored embryonic stem cells as he had claimed in a heralded May 2005 paper.

              Hwang's fraud brought shame to South Korea, newspaper editorials said. Several sponsors said they were awaiting the final report before deciding whether to take back awards and gifts they gave to him.
              Hwang will probably lose his title as the country's first ''supreme scientist'' and the 3 billion wonannual grant that came along with it, South Korean media cited government officials as saying last week.
              The Science and Technology Ministry gave Hwang the distinction in June 2005 with the promise of 3 to 5 billion won a year in subsidies for up to five years.

              Media reports quoted officials saying that the ministry was likely to rescind the title after the university panel's final conclusions were released.
              Hwang was once hailed in South Korea for taking the country to the forefront of stem cell and cloning research.
              His image was used on government promotional material showing the country as a leading force in cutting edge technology. It gave tens of millions of dollars to fund his research.
              Major South Korean companies such as steelmaker POSCO and Korean Air have yet to say whether they will continue their support for Hwang, but they will closely look at the final report.

              POSCO pledged to give 1.5 billion won for Hwang's research and sponsored the chair for his professorship at Seoul National University. Hwang stepped down from that post last month.
              ``The support was intended for the development of Korea's science,'' said spokesman Bae Hyo-seop.
              Korean Air offered Hwang and his wife free first class tickets for the next 10 years and has yet to withdraw the offer, an official said.
              Last month, media reported, police withdrew Hwang's bodyguards at his request.

              At one point last year, South Korea's Foreign Ministry had planned to create a post equivalent to an ``ambassador for science'' to help Hwang in his work overseas, an official said.

              About three months ago, amid much fanfare, South Korea opened its World Stem Cell Hub in the hope of building on Hwang's success and making the country a global center for research.
              The government has now cut most of its funding for the hub in next year's budget, the JoongAng Ilbo reported.

              Seoul prosecutors will also be paying close attention to the final report. They have said they will decide after its release whether to investigate Hwang for criminal fraud.



                If the leak holds it's fake and they won't even bother to re-test

                The leaks comes a day before the nine-member Seoul National University (SNU) panel is expected to announce the results of its month-long investigation.
                The failure to find evidence of any existing stem cells could be a knock-out blow to the disgraced scientist, who has maintained that they existed and future tests would vindicate him.
                Insiders also said the purported original technology held by Hwang's team cannot be deemed significant enough to actually lead to a re-testing of the entire process.
                "This means that the panel will not recommend a re-test because it will be a waste of time and money," a source said.


                  Panel Report- Reuters

                  S.Korean scientists faked two key papers: inquiry
                  Mon Jan 9, 2006 9:16 PM ET
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                  SEOUL (Reuters) - A team led by a once heralded and now disgraced South Korean scientist faked two landmark papers on embryonic stem cells but did produce the world's first cloned dog, an investigation panel said on Tuesday.

                  The panel at Seoul National University told reporters there was no data to support the papers produced by the team led by scientist Hwang Woo-suk.

                  The two papers were a 2004 report on producing the first cloned human embryos for research and the second was a 2005 paper on producing the first embryonic tailored stem cells.

                  © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


                    Seoul National University: Scientist faked cloned human embryonic stem cells

                    Monday, January 09, 2006
                    By The Associated Press
                    SEOUL, South Korea -- Scientist Hwang Woo-suk's pioneering 2004 claim to have cloned human embryonic stem cells was faked but his claim last year to have created the world's first cloned dog was genuine, Seoul National University said this evening.

                    The university made the announcements as it released the final results into its investigation of Hwang's cloning research. Pitt also has its own investigation of Dr. Schatten underway. Unlike the South Korean panel, which regularly reports to the public on its progress, the six-member Pitt panel is doing its work in secret, following guidelines of the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research Integrity. Pitt officials have indicated that panel may finish its work late this month.


                      BBC news

                      and another report on the faking



                        Now that Seoul National University has completed their investigation and concluded that Woo-Suk Hwang has fabricated all the data in his 2004 and 2005 human embryonic stem cell studies, I think that it is appropriate to comment.

                        What has happened is unethical and unacceptable. Dr. Woo-Suk Hwang not only fabricated data and lied about it, he misled many vulnerable people, including people with spinal cord injury, to believe that he would cure them when he knew that it was all fake. He falsely accused colleagues of sabotaging his experiments, blamed mistakes such as substituted pictures on other scientists, and damaged the careers of his younger colleagues. He lied to and betrayed collaborators. He damaged the field. In short, he has committed the most egregious sins that a scientist can.

                        When the news of Hwang's scientific fraud first appeared, most U.S. scientists (including myself) could not believe it, in part because we cannot conceive of such wholesale scientific fraud occuring in the United States. For example, I cannot imagine any U.S. scientist requesting or ordering a student, a junior colleague, or another faculty member to fake data, or anybody who would agree to do so. You can fool some of the people some of the time but not so many people so completely and for so long.

                        Hwang not only hurt himself and betrayed the trust of colleagues and friends but severely damaged the careers of young people who worked for him and eroded public trust in science. He hurt millions of people who had put their hope in his work. I have seen him look directly into the eyes of people with spinal cord injury and say that he would cure them, knowing that he had faked the results. These are not just acts of an ambitious man who is willing to cut a few corners here and there. These are inexcusable acts that show the depths of his depravity.

                        Evidence also appears to have emerged that Hwang maintained a coercive atmosphere in the laboratory which induced several women in his laboratory to donate eggs to the experiments. After initially denying it, Hwang has now admitted that junior colleagues in his laboratory had donated eggs. One woman has indicated that Hwang forced her to donate her eggs after she had mistakenly spilled some ova in experiments in 2003. Finally, there are suggestions that he may have reached an agreement with the women to not publicize their egg donations. Such behavior is not only unethical but may break criminal laws.

                        Should he be punished? Woo-Suk Hwang has lost the most precious assets that an academic scientist possesses: his credibility, integrity, and tenure. He will not be able to do science again, certainly will not be believed or trusted, and will undoubtedly lose his job as well. He will be subject to the scorn of a nation that he has betrayed. He may be prosecuted for breaking laws, including misuse of government funds and abusing junior colleagues. In my opinion, he is being and will be severely punished for what he did.

                        The more important question is what can be done to prevent such unethical conduct in the future. The scandal exposed three serious deficits in Korean science:
                        1. Inadequate ethics training. I don't know whether Korean universities require ethical training of scientists but it is clearly ineffective. The U.S. National Institutes of Health requires ethics training for pre-doctoral and postdoctoral students. Even undergraduates are taught that plagiarism and data fabrication are unacceptable, how to recognize and avoid scientific misconduct, and what to do if they see it.
                        2. Ineffective early detection. Korea appears to be lacking effective mechanisms to detect scientific misconduct at their universities. Scientific fraud and abuse of junior colleagues of this magnitude do not happen de novo. There were likely to have been precedent events that escaped detection or went unpunished. Early detection and prevention is the only effective way of stopping scientific misconduct before it becomes outright fraud.
                        3. No whistle-blower protection. It is clear that many of Hwang's colleagues and students were unwilling or unable to criticize his reprehensible behavior. In hierarchical systems where a leader of a laboratory may have significant power over the careers of students and colleagues, there must be rigorous and well-publicized policies to protect whistle-blowers and to encourage anonymous reports of illegal and unethical behavior.

                        I recommended to the Korean government that they institute the following programs immediately. First, they should require formal ethics training for science students and scientists. Second, they should install effective mechanisms for early detection and disciplining of scientists who commit misconduct. Third, they should establish rigorously maintained and publicized procedures to protect and encourage anonymous whistleblowers. For the longer term, the government should establish an Office of Research Protection and Integrity empowered to investigate and punish cases of scientific misconduct. They should establish a National Commission to assess and recommend changes of the structure of the research universities that allow such outrageous behavior.
                        Last edited by Wise Young; 10 Jan 2006, 7:44 AM.


                          Dr. Young
                          I agree with most of what you say, but would like to know how you feel this has been determined
                          He falsely accused colleagues of sabotaging his experiments
                          With all the evidence you supply for how hard it is to fake the science, I still feel somewhat unsure if he was sabotaged or not.

                          I also wait to hear what Pitt decides about Schatten's role


                            Dishonesty in Science


                            Thanks Wise. Here is also an interesting article by Richard Lewontin on the subject, a bit old but still valid. You have probably read it but here goes some excerpts anyway plus the link. Leif

                            Scientists in training are conscious of the appropriation of credit for their work by senior scientists and they resent it but feel that they cannot protest. It is not that they place no value on the details of authorship. They will fight bitterly with colleagues of their own rank about who should be first author on jointly authored publications. Yet when they too become seniors they will engage in the same fabrications of intellectual credit. The fabrications and falsifications of scientific results that we condemn as fraud are carried out from the desire for fame, status, and economic reward. But the misappropriation of credit by senior scientists arises from the same motives. How can we expect scientists to hold literal truth about nature as an inviolable standard, when they participate, en masse, in a conscious everyday falsification about the production of that truth? That is an aspect of what Judson calls "the culture of fraud" that is far more relevant to scientific honesty than the behavior of the executives of Enron on whom most scientists claim to look with disdain.
                            This comment is also interesting; maybe this was what was happening in Hwangs lab - Regardless if it is ideology or a desire for money and fame behind the scam and the manipulations here it shows also that the human itself do have weaknesses. Like Richard Lewontin also hinted here;
                            The problem of the role of elite knowledge in a democracy is an old one. A version of a story in the Babylonian Talmud tells of four rabbis walking in a field, engaged in a dispute over whether an oven of a particular design can be purified. Three hold one opinion, while the fourth has the opposite view. The lone holdout appeals to God, asking that He send first thunder, then lightning, and then that the lightning strike a lone tree in the field. Although each request is granted, the others are not convinced. After all, thunder and lightning are usual natural phenomena and in a lightning storm what is more natural than that a tree standing in the middle of a field should be struck? In desperation the dissenter calls on God to speak directly to them. Sure enough, a voice from above is heard proclaiming "IT IS AS HE SAYS." "So," asks the dissenter, "what do you three have to say now?" "All right," they answer, "that makes it three to two."


                              the misappropriation of credit by senior scientists arises from the same motives. How can we expect scientists to hold literal truth about nature as an inviolable standard, when they participate, en masse, in a conscious everyday falsification about the production of that truth? That is an aspect of what Judson calls "the culture of fraud" that is far more relevant to scientific honesty than the behavior of the executives of Enron on whom most scientists claim to look with disdain.
                              Leif, thank you for that quote.

                              Dr. Young, I don't think the systems are in place in the US to rule out fraud in science either,or even lessen it. In fact the environment is very conducive to fraud given that the grant application process/funding heavily favors those with the greatest volume of publications.

                              Maybe there is less of a coercive atmosphere in laboratories in the US, but even that can't be ruled out either in the US.

                              It usually takes a long time before fraud is discovered and many never get discovered.

                              For every Enron discovered, many go undiscovered. I'm sure it's the same in the scientific community.

                              You can have all the rules and regulations in place,.....(including peer review), but without proper enforcement abuse is always possible.