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South Korea prosecutors eye charges against disgraced cloning pioneer

[JURIST] South Korean prosecutors said Tuesday that they will open a criminal investigation into South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk [BBC profile], a day after an investigation concluded that Hwang's acclaimed research on stem cells was fake. Reports suggest that prosecutors could pursue charges of fraud and embezzlement after Hwang won more than $60 million in government funding after his surprise announcement in 2005 that his research team had created patient-specific stem cell lines. According to a report [report summary] by scientists at Seoul National University [official website], Hwang's claims to have created the stem-cell lines and to have produced stem cells from a human embryo were both bogus. Hwang has also been accused of violating medical ethics by using human eggs from researchers on his staff. The scandal has caused fallout for the South Korean government, embarrassing the administration of President Roh Moo-Hyun [BBC profile] for supporting Hwang and resulting in the resignation of science secretary Park Ky-Young, who co-wrote parts of the research with Hwang. Hwang apologized last month and resigned from posts in the science community. AFP has more.

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