Sunday, June 04, 2006

On June 1, 2006 BBC reports faked Hwang research as true

In an odd footnote to the stem cell-related visit of Colorado Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette to Great Britain, the BBC got into trouble for portraying the fraudulent research of Hwang Woo-Suk as correct.


In an article today [June 1, 2006] about three members of Congress bashing the U.S. for not funding embryonic stem cell research, the BBC includes a sidebar graphic detailing advances in stem cell research over the years.

The last two bullet points include a 2004 notation saying "South Korean scientists clone 30 human embryos and develop them over several days" and a 2005 note claiming "Korean team develops stem cells tailored to match individual patients."


Under a list of related topics, the first BBC story listed covers the supposedly patient-specific stem cells and a second details the fake claims of cloning a human embryo. Both were written prior to the revelations that the research was falsified and no stories are listed covering the exposure of the faked research.

There is no real excuse for the incorrect discussion of the Hwang work by the BBC, or for the misleading commentary of the US Congresspeople.

This episode also gives a whole new [ironic] dimension to Weiss's comment about set-back.

The episode also illustrates the damage caused by the publication in a premier journal (here, Science) of false results, because the false results can still be cited long after retraction has occurred.

The section "stem cell milestones" on the BBC report was later corrected to delete the references to Hwang's fraudulent results. Curiously, the BBC report did NOT mention the Newcastle work within the milestones, which British work did produce a human blastocyst through SCNT.

See also here and


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