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Scientific Fabrication at the Highest Level

January 16, 2006

Scientific Fabrication at the Highest Level
by Panayiotis Zavos
(Click here for original story)

The Scientific World is shocked and amazed by the Korean Team's recent degree of corruption and misrepresentation of the facts and their deliberate fabrication of data with regards to their cloning stem cell research efforts. In a 2004 paper in the journal Science, Hwang's team said they had cloned the first human embryos for research, while in another subsequent article in May 2005, they claimed to have produced the first embryonic tailored stem cells.

In releasing its final results into the probe, the university panel that investigated Hwang and his team which included an American scientist, Dr. Gerald Schatten from the University of Pittsburgh, said that Hwang and his collaborators could not provide any proof that he or anyone else on his team could have created the cloned embryonic stem cells, and the data in the published papers was deliberately fabricated.

These developments have created and continue to create immense problems for scientists that are very genuinely working in the cloning and stem cell arenas. The South Korean cloning scandal is a setback for other scientists working on cloning and embryonic stem cells and will increase scrutiny of their achievements. The difficulties that Mr. Hwang has created have a great deal of similarity with those that Ms. Bosselier and her team at Clonaid have created for serious researchers with interest in the reproductive cloning areas a couple of years ago. These fabricated "stories" by Bosselier at that time were of incredible magnitude and provided the "cloning" critics unlimited potential to attack the scientists with interest in reproductive cloning and attempt to destroy their efforts and reputation. I know since I was there and sensed all of the side-effects of such criticism but our team was able to withstand these criticisms and continue to focus on our efforts in the area of reproductive cloning. Mr. Hwang has replicated Ms. Bosselier's fabricated story telling habits and even surpassed her by fabricating and publishing data that never existed. It is my hope that the World will realize that when scientists, for personal and selfish reasons, decide to misrepresent the truth, to promote their agendas, that they do not represent the honest and truly devoted scientists that have the same goals and aspirations to promote true science and present the facts as they may appear.

Hwang's efforts just as much as, Bosselier's efforts are regrettable and should not be used by anyone to promote their agendas and criticize the integrity of the scientific community and more specifically those that carry out research in the cloning and stem cell areas. We should be very objective and vigilant about those that will try to generalize and promote a negative image about research efforts in the cloning and stem cell research areas, because they would be doing a disservice to humanity and setting the World clock at a stand still. We are marching on but we are going to be more vigilant than ever about our efforts and those of others in making sure that this type of misrepresentation and systematic fabrication of scientific data does not happen ever again. Hwang's fabricated studies claiming he had cloned human embryos to provide stem cells is also a huge disappointment for patients who believed his work could lead to new therapies for debilitating diseases.

We are all sickened by these developments and we, in the scientific world do not need those "fabricators" in our path as we look into the future of scientific accomplishments and in making this World a better place for all of humanity. We can all do without the Bosseliers, the Hwangs and the Schattens in this world. It certainly could be a better place for the scientific community and the World, as a whole.

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Prof., Dr. Panayiotis Zavos, Ed.S., Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Reproductive Physiology & Andrology,
University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky USA
Director, Andrology Institute of America
Associate Director, Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine & IVF
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