I’m all for stem cell research, I just wouldn’t kill anyone for it or exploit and coerce young women for it. It appears that Hwang Woo Suk did both in addition to wasting human oocytes and embryos and lying about most of what he reported.
Not all fraud requires outright lies. Sometimes, the deception is achieved by not telling the whole truth or redefining the terms.
For example, “disaggregate” is the term coined by advocates and practitioners of the harvesting of human embryos for embryonic stem cells who wished to avoid the use of the terms “destroy, “dissect,” “kill,” and “sacrifice.” You know, pretty much the same ones who tried to change “clone and kill” to “somatic cell nuclear transfer,” then simply “nuclear transfer,” and, finally, “production of patient-specific stem cells” in order to confuse the general public about the nature of their activities. These are the same people who would have us forget that not all “stem cells” are the same: some are produced without destroying a young human life or manipulation of the bodies of women, as though all were commodities or natural resources for mining and harvesting.
If you would like to read the actual Seoul National University investigating panel report on the fraud of the Korean Veterinarian, Hwang Woo Suk, the New York Times has published an English version. (Free registration is required.)
It seems appropriate to me that a doctor of veterinary medicine was only successful in his efforts to clone a dog, rather than humans.
However, it wasn’t for lack of trying. The vet’s lab received 2061 human oocytes from 129 human women. Some of those oocytes were used in attempts to produce cloned human embryos. Those that were produced were short lived, either because of their frailty and inherent defects or because of the planned attempts to harvest stem cells by “disaggregation.” The laboratory records are unclear about the fate of all but about 273 of those “eggs.”
Some of those oocytes were from the young Ph.D. candidates who worked for Hwang. Hwang denied knowledge of those donations, but the SNU report notes that the former “cloning king” accompanied his student to the hospital when her eggs were harvested.