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Koreans did actually clone dog, panel declares

Some relief for Hwang Woo-suk

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The Seoul National University panel investigating the work of disgraced stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk has partially exonerated him by declaring that his team did in fact produce the world's first cloned dog in 2005, as claimed.

However, the panel said data regarding the production of tailored stem cells was "deliberately fabricated in papers", Reuters reports. It described the matter as "scandalous". An English-language statement said: "These individuals cannot be regarded to represent science in Korea."

The damning final conclusion comes after a series of scientific shockers including the revelation that Hwang had "coerced" female team members to provide their own eggs for stem cell research. The tailored stem cells paper - as published in Science and now retracted by that august publication - could not be proved, the panel concluded. Seoul National University panel supremo, Chung Myung-hee, stated: "Hwang's team did not have the data for the stem cell lines in the 2004 paper, but fabricated it."

Regarding "Snuppy" the Afghan hound, DNA evidence proved he had indeed been cloned.

Hwang - who has been keeping a low profile since his resignation just before Xmas and could now face charges reagarding misuse of state funds - may make a statement today or tomorrow, Reuters says. ®

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