Saturday, January 27, 2007

MSU Committee clears Cibelli as to responsibility in Hwang's first fraudulent paper

The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote on 26 Jan. 07: An investigative committee at Michigan State University found that Prof. Jose B. Cibelli could not reasonably have known of the misconduct, James M. Pivarnik, the university’s intellectual-integrity officer, wrote in a letter to Mr. Cibelli’s colleagues today.

Flashing back to yesteryear, Americans were quick to claim partial credit in Hwang's first paper:

South Korean and US researchers on Wednesday [11 Feb. 2004] said, at the 2004 AAAS Annual Meeting in Seattle (12-16 Feb.), they had cloned a human embryo and extracted from it embryonic stem cells. [IPBiz note: the US connection was Dr. Jose Cibelli, formerly of Advanced Cell Technology and now a researcher at Michigan State University in the US.]

The 2004 press release proclaimed: The experiment, the first published report of cloned human stem cells, means so-called therapeutic cloning is now a reality.

Returning to the present (January 27, 2007), one sees that there still is no therapeutic cloning.

LifeNews reported:

"In terms of the science, it has really taken us back to square one," Dr. Stephen Minger, a stem cell researcher from King College London, told the BBC. "Nobody has got close to doing what Dr. Hwang claimed to have done."

Minger fears that embryonic stem cell science won't any major progress for years to come because there is a lack of human eggs to use in research and obtaining them from women poses numerous ethical problems.

"Hwang seemed to have all the resources and an endless supply of human eggs to use," he told the BBC. "But here and elsewhere people cannot push this field forward because there is a profound shortage of eggs -- and this is a major problem."

Professor Julian Savulescu, from Oxford University, talked about Hwang's downfall in a recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics and said the conditions that allowed Hwang to conduct his research don't normally exist elsewhere.


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