South Korea’s pioneering stem cell scientist, embroiled in a scandal
over ethical lapses, returned to his laboratory on Monday after the
university where he works agreed to launch an inquiry to verify his key
Hwang Woo-suk, taken to hospital suffering from
exhaustion last week, walked past ranks of TV cameras in his lab coat
to enter his Seoul National University laboratory for the first time
since apologising for ethical lapses nearly three weeks ago.
Last week, pictures of an unshaven Hwang resting in a hospital bed made the front pages of South Korean newspapers.
will ask the university to examine all facets of the work we have
conducted," Hwang was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying.
had requested his work be checked to put an end to media questioning of
the basic findings of his research, Seoul National University official
Roe Jung-hye said.
A panel of experts from the university would
lead the investigation and conduct DNA tests on the tailored stem cell
lines Hwang’s team produced, he told a televised news conference.
is our priority to figure out whether the data used in the experiments
had been falsified or not," Roe said, adding the school may open its
investigation to outside experts.
South Korean Internet news
agency Pressian and TV network MBC have questioned Hwang’s research,
saying it was not certain if his team actually cloned 11 different,
tailored stem cell lines as they had reported in a paper published in
Pressian quoted an associate of Hwang as saying some of the stem cell photos in the Science paper may have been altered.
MBC decided not to broadcast a programme questioning Hwang’s basic research, citing its own ethical lapses in reporting.
By Jon Herskovitz