Friday, April 07, 2006

More allegations of Schatten stealing Hwang's ideas(?)

KBS television producer Moon Hyong-ryeol may soon be posting to the internet controversial allegations about University of Pittsburgh's Gerald Schatten. In passing, one notes that Schatten's cip application, published in Feb. 2006, explicitly cited to a scientific paper by Hwang on the extrusion technique. Further, one needs to appreciate what disclosure is in Hwang's first PCT application.

from the Korea Times:

A newly unveiled manuscript of an investigative TV program made by domestic broadcaster KBS generates more disputes on Korea's disgraced stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk.

KBS producer Moon Hyong-ryeol disclosed the manuscript of the investigative TV program ``In-Depth 60 Minutes'' via a local Internet media outlet Thursday.

The manuscript contains allegations favorable to Hwang. Prof. Gerald P. Schatten at the University of Pittsburgh is suspected of stealing Hwang's technologies to apply for patents as if they were developed by him.

Schatten was formerly one of Hwang's closest research partners but bid farewell to him last year, claiming the Korean veterinarian had lied to him about ethical violations in recruiting the human eggs.

The manuscript also raises a high possibility that Hwang did clone an embryonic stem cell line, negating the conclusion of Seoul National University, which fired Hwang last month.

Early this January, a peer-review committee at the university found Hwang had fabricated information in two articles on cloned stem cells that were published in the U.S. journal "Science" in 2004 and 2005

"Schatten applied for patents on April 9, 2003 in the United States for a technology needed for nuclear transfer of animal somatic cells, about nine months ahead of Hwang," Moon said. [IPBiz: The April 2003 application of Schatten is a provisional. For claims in later nonprovisional applications to enjoy the April 2003 date, there must be adequate written description in the provisional application.]

``On April 9, 2004 Schatten added the technique of Hwang's team of gently squeezing out nuclear contents from eggs in the process of cloning to its patent lineup,'' he added.

Hwang was once famous for the technology, which he claimed was developed by his underling, by gently squeezing genetic materials out of human eggs before cloning a somatic cell.

Moon contended that the country is required to prevent the U.S. government from issuing patents to Schatten by refusing his patent application.

The producer also claimed there is a high possibility that the No. 1 stem cell line, code-named NT-1 documented at the 2004 Science paper, is indeed cloned.

"Many scientists point out the No. 1 line was established through cloning, rebuffing the previous conclusion that it was made through the unisexual reproduction," Moon said. [IPBiz: many believe that Hwang did successfully clone (via SCNT] in the 2004 paper; the Newcastle group also successfully cloned. This is a done deal. HOWEVER, no one has yet harvested stem cells from the cloned blastocyst.]

The Seoul National University panel said in January that the No. 1 line seems to be created through parthenogenesis, or reproduction without a father.

Moon disclosed the controversial manuscript as KBS decided not to air the special documentary produced by him, citing a likelihood of lawsuits.

Moon said he would allow people to watch the program on the issue by uploading it to the Internet.

"Now I am now working to post the program to the Internet. I think I will be able to finish the job soon," Moon said.


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