Hwang 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.
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