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South Korean University Suspends Disgraced Stem Cell Researchers

South Korean University Suspends Disgraced Stem Cell Researchers

SEOUL, South Korea

      Seoul National University decided last week to temporarily bar disgraced scientist Dr. Hwang Woo-suk and six other professors on his team from teaching and conducting research over their involvement in fabricated stem cell research, according to a news report.

      Yonhap news agency said the researchers would retain their professorial positions until the university’s disciplinary committee decides on final action in the scandal over falsified work published in the international journal Science.

      According to Yonhap, the committee will meet again Feb. 21 to question the professors.

      The university concluded in January that Hwang fabricated both the 2004 and 2005 papers that claimed his team created stem cells from the world’s first cloned human embryos. The journal has since retracted both papers.

      Hwang publicly apologized for faking data, but claimed he was deceived by fellow researchers. He said some of the cloned embryonic stem cells at his lab had been maliciously switched and called for prosecutors to investigate.

      Hwang was earlier stripped of his title of chair professor at the university and had offered to resign, but had so far retained the title of professor of veterinary medicine.

      South Korea’s state audit board also said recently that Hwang was suspected of misusing government funds. Prosecutors are conducting their own investigation into the scandal.

— Associated Press

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