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No human cloning for Hwang

korean logog.gifHwang Woo Suk has been knocked back in his attempt to re-start work on human embryonic stem cells. The South Korean government has rejected his request for a licence.

Hwang, whose name is now rarely mentioned without the words ‘disgraced’ and ‘scientist’ before it, was exposed for research fraud in 2005 and became a national pariah in South Korea.

A statement from the country’s health ministry announcing the rejection said: “We took into consideration the ethical problems that caused him to be fired as professor … and the fact that he was indicted on charges of illegally trading in human eggs.” (Statement in Korean, extracts on AP.)

Hyun Sang-hwan, Hwang’s colleague at Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, told Reuters the rejection was a disappointment. “We expected our request to be accepted because the research plan we submitted has no flaw in terms of legal and administrative procedures,” he says.

More from Nature

Disgraced cloner Woo Suk Hwang attempts a comeback – 21 Dec 2007

Nature Special: Woo Suk Hwang – 11 Jan 2006


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