{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}


article11_Cyranoski_2006 - ews 122-123 MH 2:53 PM Page 122...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Vol 439 | 12 January 2006 NEWS SEOUL The results are in. The university committee looking into scientific misconduct in the labo- ratory of South Korean cloner Woo Suk Hwang announced on 10 January that his 2004 claim to have cloned a human embryo was fake. But his Afghan hound Snuppy is a real clone. The announcement finally confirms the gravest suspi- cions of Hwang’s work with humans. There are two papers in which Hwang’s group claimed to clone human cells — a 2004 article that describes the first cloned embryo and derivation of a stem-cell line from it (W. S. Hwang et al. Sci- ence 303, 1669–1674; 2004), and a 2005 article that claims the establishment of eleven ‘patient-specific’ stem-cell lines (W. S. Hwang et al. Science 308, 1777–1783; 2005). Both have turned out to be complete and deliberate fakes. “Such an act is nothing other than deception of the scientific community and the public at large,” concludes Myung Hee Chung of Seoul National University (SNU), who headed the committee. With the 2005 paper already discredited in the panel’s interim report (see Nature 439, 8; 2005), Chung’s statement focused on the 2004 paper. DNA fingerprinting tests carried out by three laboratories found that the genetic mate- rial of the supposedly cloned human cell line, NT-1, did not match that of the donor. Nor did it match any of the stem-cell lines from the in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos of MizMedi Hospital, which were the source for the faked data in the 2005 paper. Further investigation revealed that mito- chondrial DNA from the cell line matched one of the egg donors, but the DNA inside the cells’ nuclei varied at several locations. The com- mittee concluded that the line was derived by parthenogenesis — where the single set of chromosomes in an egg develop as if it were fertilized. The images and data in the paper that showed perfect matches were fabricated. The committee also found that Hwang worked with a staggering number of eggs — 2,061 from 129 women — despite claiming to have used only 242 eggs for the 2004 study and 185 for the 2005 study. The findings are a huge setback for thera- peutic cloning — the idea that cloned embryos could be used as a source of patient-matched stem cells to replace damaged tissues in a range of diseases. Even using numbers of human eggs of which other researchers can only dream, Hwang’s team was unable to derive such stem cells, and the field is now left with no evidence that it is possible in humans at all (see Nature , 438, 1056–1059; 2005).
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}