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Spectacular science fraud shakes stem cell field
ap on San Diego Union Tribune ^ | 12/23/05 | Paul Elias and Malcolm Ritter - ap

Posted on 12/23/2005 5:58:55 PM PST by NormsRevenge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Scientists fretted Friday that a spectacular cloning fraud that hid in plain sight has set back legitimate stem cell work around the world.

Cloning experts and stem cell scientists said research in the potentially revolutionary field of regenerative medicine will continue unabated. But they said public confidence in their work had been weakened by a sham branded by experts as the most visible case of scientific fraud they could recall.

Scientists also struggled to explain how they didn't earlier catch the charismatic South Korean veterinarian's claim in a Science paper published in May that he cloned 11 human embryos to produce stem cells.

"That's a difficult one," said Keith Campbell, the University of Nottingham researcher who helped clone Dolly the sheep in 1997. "Scientists are asked to referee a lot of papers and to a certain extent we have to believe each other as to the validity of the data."

A disgraced Hwang Woo-suk resigned from Seoul National University on Friday after the school said the researcher fabricated groundbreaking cloning and stem-cell research that had raised hopes of new cures for hard-to-treat diseases.

When Hwang published findings in February 2004 and again in May, it was believed he had developed a new cloning method that enabled him to accomplish something no one else had.

Hwang chalked up much of the success to South Korean government support and dedicated researchers working around the clock. He also credited his workers' dexterity with chopsticks; stem cell researchers visited from around the world and rushed back to their labs to try the new technique.

The journal Science said it would retract the May paper and investigate Hwang's 2004 paper that claimed the first cloned human embryo.

"It's a stain on the honor and integrity of the whole field," said Dr. Robert Lanza, a cloning expert at the biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology. "It has sent a lot of scientists on a wild goose chase and down false paths."

Stem cells are created in the first days after conception and mature into every cell in the human body. Scientist hope to use stem cells as replacement parts for failing organs and to treat diabetes, Parkinson's and other diseases.

Researchers want to harvest stem cells by cloning the DNA of sick people, so they could turn the cells into tissue that genetically matches a patient. That way, the patient wouldn't have to take the anti-rejection drugs used in organ transplants today. Also, researchers hope to use cloned stem cells to study how diseases begin and develop.

No researcher in the United States is known to be actively trying to a clone a human embryo, though two teams at Harvard University have asked school officials for permission.

Doug Melton, who leads one of the Harvard cloning projects, vowed Friday that the work will continue despite the scandal.

"This sad news from Korea in no way weakens our belief in all the demonstrably valid experiments indicating that stem cell science holds the promise of eventually providing the basis of treatments and cures for numerous presently intractable chronic diseases," Melton said in an e-mail. "It simply means that we still need to take important steps we thought had already been taken."

Two experts in scientific misconduct called the Hwang scandal the most visible case of scientific fraud they could think of.

That's because unlike many other cases, Hwang's purported achievement drew so much public attention in the first place, said Nicholas Steneck of the University of Michigan.

"His research was front-page research, and then it was discovered that he falsified. Most of the other ones, it's that they falsified that made it front-page research," he said.

The controversy over embryonic stem cells made Hwang's claims so newsworthy, said Fred Grinnell, founder of the ethics in science and medicine program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

"This is a case where lots of people have been talking about stem cells and embryos and whether it's right to do it or not to do it, and how the U.S. is falling behind, and how there's great work going on in Korea. And all of a sudden it appears to be all fake," Grinnell said.

Both men said other fraud cases have been more extensive.

Grinnell cited the case of Eric Poehlman, once a professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, who made up research between 1992 and 2000 in areas including menopause, aging and hormone supplements to get millions of dollars in federal grant money.

"To me, that's the worst case of this kind that I've ever heard of" because he got away with it for so long, Grinnell said.

Similarly, Steneck noted the case of Jan Hendrik Schon, who had become a star at Bell Labs but then was fired in 2002 for falsifying data from electronics experiments. An investigatory committee concluded that he made up or altered data at least 16 times between 1998 and 2001.

In contrast, Steneck said, only one paper by Hwang has been shown to be fraudulent, at least so far.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cloning; field; fraud; hwang; hwangwoosuk; science; shakes; spectacular; stemcell; stemcells

1 posted on 12/23/2005 5:58:56 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

South Korean stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk apologizes to the nation as one of Hwang's students, right, cries at Seoul National University in Seoul, Friday. (AP/Lee Jin-man)


2 posted on 12/23/2005 6:00:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Monthly Donor spoken Here. Go to ... https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Korean bloggers busted him.....one more victory for the blogosphere.


3 posted on 12/23/2005 6:01:29 PM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the MilHist ping list)
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To: NormsRevenge
Scientific Fraud???? Impossible!

Just ask the Evol-Doers. Science is always pure. Never biased. Always seeking truth.

4 posted on 12/23/2005 6:01:58 PM PST by keithtoo (Leftists/Democrats - Traitors, Haters and Vacillators)
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To: keithtoo
Science is always pure. Never biased. Always seeking truth.

You are exactly right. Just ask the global warming activists.

5 posted on 12/23/2005 6:04:34 PM PST by appleharvey
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To: keithtoo

"Just ask the Evol-Doers. Science is always pure."

Jim and Tammy. What does it mean to you?


6 posted on 12/23/2005 6:04:42 PM PST by ndt
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To: NormsRevenge
public confidence in their work had been weakened by a sham branded by experts as the most visible case of scientific fraud they could recall.

Global Warming?

7 posted on 12/23/2005 6:05:03 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: razorback-bert

Piltdown Man?


8 posted on 12/23/2005 6:06:02 PM PST by mlc9852
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To: NormsRevenge

"It's a stain on the honor and integrity of the whole field,"

&&
Cloning human embryos is stain on the honor and integrity of medical science.


9 posted on 12/23/2005 6:06:13 PM PST by Bigg Red (Do not trust Democrats with national security!)
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To: mlc9852

"Piltdown Man?"

Jimmy Swaggart?


10 posted on 12/23/2005 6:07:41 PM PST by ndt
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To: mlc9852

Cold fusion


11 posted on 12/23/2005 6:09:29 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: ndt

Jim and Tammy were frauds, just like Paul and Jan.

Nebraska Man? Piltdown Man? Java Man? Peking Man? Archaeopteryx (coming soon)?


12 posted on 12/23/2005 6:13:13 PM PST by keithtoo (Leftists/Democrats - Traitors, Haters and Vacillators)
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To: razorback-bert; mlc9852; NormsRevenge

OK, people just say it so we can get it over with. Here I'll do it for you.

Because this man is a fraud, what ever scientific field you disagree with must be wrong.

Hogwash


13 posted on 12/23/2005 6:13:43 PM PST by ndt
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To: NormsRevenge

mark


14 posted on 12/23/2005 6:14:21 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>)
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To: keithtoo

"Jim and Tammy were frauds, just like Paul and Jan."

And does that mean Christianity is a fraud? If not, why not?


15 posted on 12/23/2005 6:14:51 PM PST by ndt
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To: NormsRevenge

Why don't they stop grabbing at money, and start researching?


16 posted on 12/23/2005 6:15:41 PM PST by Brilliant
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To: NormsRevenge

Fake but accurate PING!


17 posted on 12/23/2005 6:16:40 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: NormsRevenge
The controversy over embryonic stem cells made Hwang's claims so newsworthy, said Fred Grinnell, founder of the ethics in science and medicine program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Gee, and I thought it was because any story that helps the pro-abortion lobby (which includes the entire MSM down to the last man, woman, and "other") justify their trade as something that's going to open the door to a cure for every malady up to and including old age itself is trumpeted to the sky in a mad frenzy. I'm probably too cynical about this.

riiight

18 posted on 12/23/2005 6:16:49 PM PST by Steely Tom
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To: NormsRevenge

Okay, think about the dim-Rats who actually based their political position in the presidential election on stem cells!


19 posted on 12/23/2005 6:17:33 PM PST by wouldntbprudent
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To: ndt

Not all science is a fraud

Just like not all religious leaders are frauds.

But human beings as a whole are sinful creatures

Thus the potential for fraud in all areas of human endeavor.


20 posted on 12/23/2005 6:20:00 PM PST by Leatherneck_MT
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To: Leatherneck_MT

I bow to you sir.


21 posted on 12/23/2005 6:22:03 PM PST by ndt
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To: ndt
what ever scientific field you disagree with must be wrong.

Nope, just that science has its' share of frauds and must be held to account.

The amazing Tasaday tribe

The krypton factor

Trofim Lysenko

Charles Redheffer

Jan Henrik Schön

22 posted on 12/23/2005 6:22:22 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: NormsRevenge

This is an example of why critical analysis in science is so important. You can never take one study or finding and make extrapolations until the methodology has gone through peer review.


23 posted on 12/23/2005 6:23:56 PM PST by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: razorback-bert
"Nope, just that science has its' share of frauds and must be held to account."

That is what peer review is all about. Speaking of that, does anyone have a link to a description of HOW this came out.
24 posted on 12/23/2005 6:24:51 PM PST by ndt
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To: ndt
Nope. Just means that folks will act in their own self interest to the exclusion of truth and others will go along to hear what they want to hear as long as it reinforces their worldview.

Just like the 'scientists' in the church of evolution.

25 posted on 12/23/2005 6:26:26 PM PST by keithtoo (Leftists/Democrats - Traitors, Haters and Vacillators)
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To: NormsRevenge
A disgraced Hwang Woo-suk

They should've known, somebody with that name...

26 posted on 12/23/2005 6:44:43 PM PST by danmar ("Reason obeys itself,and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it....... Thomas Paine)
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To: razorback-bert
public confidence in their work had been weakened by a sham branded by experts as the most visible case of scientific fraud they could recall.

Chernobyl? DDT? Acid Rain?

27 posted on 12/23/2005 6:44:56 PM PST by Mr. Peabody
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To: NormsRevenge

Politics, Science and MSM do we really need the unholy alliance?


28 posted on 12/23/2005 6:45:14 PM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: razorback-bert

Cold Fusion... (I still WANT to believe)


30 posted on 12/23/2005 6:47:14 PM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: keithtoo

BTTT


31 posted on 12/23/2005 6:51:45 PM PST by 185JHP ( "The thing thou purposest shall come to pass: And over all thy ways the light shall shine.")
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To: ndt
EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH

It is obvious, even to laymen, that scientific research in stem cells is viable and potentially another break-though in science and health care.

Adults can provide stem cells for research.
Discarded umbilical cords have promising results. Stem cells are readily available for serious scientific research.

EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH is unethical and junk science.
32 posted on 12/23/2005 6:53:32 PM PST by sarasmom (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.)
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To: keithtoo

Maybe it was "fake but accurate".


33 posted on 12/23/2005 7:10:45 PM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: NormsRevenge

Makes me wonder how many other scientific breakthroughs are true or false.


34 posted on 12/23/2005 7:11:41 PM PST by Paul_Denton (The U.S. should adopt the policy of Oom Shmoom: Israeli policy where no one gives a sh*t about U.N.)
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To: NormsRevenge

they didn't catch it because they wanted to believe it was true the same way they want to believe humans are causing global warming.


35 posted on 12/23/2005 7:32:02 PM PST by conservative physics
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To: ndt
"Jim and Tammy were frauds, just like Paul and Jan."

And does that mean Christianity is a fraud? If not, why not?

Your oppponent did not say that all of science was suspect, but pointed out that there is fraud that goes unchecked (for a time) in science. In other words, the validation mechanisms have been proven to be only partially efficacious. (Think "random walk" vs. "perfect markets" in Wall Street trading and you'll get the idea.)

Jesus Himself predicted the presence of frauds (parable of the wheat and tares); said that there would be people who had performed miracles in His name whom He would disown; and predicted the performance of acts to deceive, if possible, "the very elect".

Similarly a number of the New Testament epistles are replete with warnings of hucksters and frauds attempting to prey on Christians.

So the actual fulfillment of the predictions of Christ and the apostles are supposed to be a refutation of their teachings?

BAH! HUMBUG! :-)

Cheers!

36 posted on 12/23/2005 7:40:57 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: ndt
That is what peer review is all about. Speaking of that, does anyone have a link to a description of HOW this came out. Then please re-read the article. It details how even peer review failed to catch the fraud until after the fact. And IIRC somewhere in the article, or later in the thread, it says that bloggers caught the guy. Think Dan Rather and Memogate...

"That's a difficult one," said Keith Campbell, the University of Nottingham researcher who helped clone Dolly the sheep in 1997. "Scientists are asked to referee a lot of papers and to a certain extent we have to believe each other as to the validity of the data."

37 posted on 12/23/2005 7:43:46 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: ndt
No, because this man is a fraud it just goes to show you how far you can get in the business of hyping "embryonic stem cells" because there are so terribly many out there who really want to "believe" this is a legitimate line of research!

As I recall Californians voted to incur billions of dollars of additional debt to finance the quack claims of yet more fraudulent researchers. They did so in response to this Korean researchers claims. Somebody said "Gee, gosh, unless we waste billions too, the Koreans will take over the entire field".

38 posted on 12/23/2005 7:49:36 PM PST by muawiyah (-)
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To: NormsRevenge

for reference on stem cells that do appear to actually do some good
but just aren't "cool" enough for the media:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/010/24.71.html

Live Patients & Dead Mice
The little-known story of the stem cells that actually work.
by David A. Prentice


39 posted on 12/23/2005 8:01:46 PM PST by VOA
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To: NormsRevenge

Seeing how the scientist are now trying to figure out what ethics mean
in a materialistic world...
an intriguing look into the ethics of the folks in the embryonic stem cell field:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/010/23.66.html

Ethics Interrupted
What does it mean when even embryonic stem-cell researchers have some qualms about their work?
by Christine A. Scheller


40 posted on 12/23/2005 8:04:33 PM PST by VOA
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To: VOA

oops, I meant "scientists"


41 posted on 12/23/2005 8:05:04 PM PST by VOA
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To: muawiyah; NormsRevenge

What has always confused me is...if embryonic stem cells are such an
obvious panacea...where's "big pharma" or all the venture capital that
floods into a "sure thing"?
I remember seeing a small article buried in the business section of
The Los Angeles Times in the spring. It was basically a CYA statement of
the interim director of the newly funded California embryonic stem cell
initiative.
The last act of this academician, as he returned to his university post,
was to basically inform the public that (in so many words)
"this stuff may not actually work".
(All I could read was a "thanks, suckers!" as the real message.)

But hey, maybe in a year or a decade, this will be the miracle cure.
However, some questionable machination were used to get us headed down
a path that might not be the most rewarding (e.g., compared to
endogenous stem cells).

here's a nice reference:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/140/33.0.html

Cloning Still Haunts California
Remember Prop. 71? Stem-cell research supporters hope voters don't remember the promises they made.
by Nigel M. de S. Cameron


42 posted on 12/23/2005 8:13:42 PM PST by VOA
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To: VOA

Heck fire, I'm not a Caulifornia voter and I know the promises they made ~ and they failed to deliver.


43 posted on 12/23/2005 8:16:30 PM PST by muawiyah (-)
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To: NormsRevenge
CBS will definitely want to hire this guy now.
44 posted on 12/23/2005 8:18:27 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: NormsRevenge
[Stem cells are created in the first days after conception and mature into every cell in the human body. Scientist hope to use stem cells as replacement parts for failing organs and to treat diabetes, Parkinson's and other diseases.]

The reason that baby stem cells will never work is because they are unstable in adults and the people who push the abortion industry have latched on this baby stem cell research to continue their unabated murder of children. They are like past time heathen and pagans and their lifestyles are generally liberal and immoral.
I read an article just yesterday on how the Hawaiian singer Don Ho was saved by adult stem cells for his failing heart, he can now walk again , they removed stem cells from his own body and injected them into his heart and he recovered and will be home for the holidays he hopes(he was in Thailand as this operation is not yet allowed in America until the government is done their testing).
Adult stem cells do not have to taken from murdered babies and have a huge success rate; the baby stem cells have no record of cures whatsoever and is but a ploy of those liberal murderer's of children who want to keep the profitable government taxpayer abortion mills open for their own monetary profit and perverted agenda.
I pray the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy this evil practice of aborting America's children for profit; supported by the liberal left neo nazis.
45 posted on 12/24/2005 6:47:59 AM PST by kindred (Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.)
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