December
10
 

Cloning in Korea

The recent past of Korea’s cloning research is best described as dubious. Disgraced Seoul University professor Hwang Woo-suk claimed in 2004 to have cloned human embryos and developed stem-cell lines, but most of that work was exposed as fraud in 2005. Now another scientist, Park Se-pill, of Jeju National University, is aiming to clone human embryonic stem cells by 2015, a breakthrough that scientists still have not yet achieved. The embryologist wants to begin cloning human embryos and building stem-cell lines from them from the start of next year.

“Recently, the government approved Cheju National University as eligible to conduct human embryonic studies. We now need to get separate okays for specific research projects,” Park said. “We will be able to start the work on human embryonic stem cells next year with the aim of finishing them by 2015. It will be tough as nobody has achieved it yet but we will do our best.” 

“In fact, things are much difficult now compared to when Hwang carried out his research because we are now not allowed to use fresh eggs to duplicate embryos,” Park said. “Instead, we have to depend on frozen eggs so that the success rate will be very low as amply demonstrated in animal experiments. We need to fix this problem.” (Thanks to Mary Meets Dolly for the reference.) ~ Korea Times, Nov 16



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