Saturday, December 17, 2005

Snuppy, Clone or Fake

Hwang Woo Suk's decision to withdraw his June paper in Science, announcing creation of 11 patient-specific cloned lines of embryonic stem cells, even while noisely proclaiming his innocence, raises questions about the validity of his other breakthroughs in cloning human embryos and a dog--Snuppy the Afghan. Time named the dog the "invention of the year," in it's November 21 issue. Nature (subscription required) carried Hwang's initial report on August 4. No one, it seems, has independently verified that Snuppy is a clone. In light of what's happening now, it's long past time to do so, and Nature should take the lead in demanding that Hwang provide the necessary genetic material to an independent lab.

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