Some Korean Stem Cells Apparently Real


Early leaked reports from the academic committee that is investigating the claims made by Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo Suk suggest that Hwang did in fact clone cells from five different patients. There is some question about whether the stem cells derived from those cloned embryos have developed sufficiently to qualify as self-perpetuating cell lines. However, it appears that these cloned embryonic cells were produced after he published work in Science claiming to have made 11 patient specific human embryonic stem cell lines.

The mystery deepens: if Hwang can legitimately produce patient specific stem cell lines, why not wait until the work is done, instead of lying about it? It can't be because he feared that he would be scooped by other research teams. All of the competing stem cell labs are way behind the Korean lab.

The investigating committee has ordered further tests of the cells from three other labs. The final report should be issued next week.