Hwang Woo-Suk has admitted that his laboratory did not create any “patient-specific” stem cells through somatic cell nuclear transfer, often abbreviated as “SCNT,” “NT,” or cloning. He also admits that he does not have the technology to do so.
The reports on the latest statements from the Korean veterinarian and his lawyers are reported by Associated Press and have been picked up by Forbes, the Times Pickayune, the New York Times, the Fort Worth Star Telegram/Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle. Scientific American (link no longer works as of Nov. 15 at 10:15 AM CST) and Reuters have focused on the admission that Hwang cannot prove that he spent millions of dollars attempting to clone extinct mammoths, without specifying the admission that there were never any human embryonic stem cells.
The AP article explains why the lies that Hwang told are important:
Stem cells are the basic cells that can grow into all kinds of tissue, and cloning them could create a way for patients to be treated with cells matching their own DNA – minimizing risk of rejection.
This confession is great news for the prolife side of the debate (if we forget the numbers of human eggs that have been wasted, the fact that some scientists are asking to use animal eggs in further attempts, and the debacle of the passage of Amendment 2 in Missouri last week), and should cause the advocates of embryonic stem cell research to reconsider their push for more tax funds.
No one has been able to produce stem cells from cloned human embryos. In fact, no one has been able to clone human embryos that survive long enough to produce the inner cell mass that contains the embryonic stem cells. Our only source is and will be for the near future, the embryos created by in vitro fertilization.
Add in the news that 1/2 to 1/3 of all revenues from any possible future accomplishments utilizing embryonic stem cells going to Wisconsin and the wonderful advancements using adult and umbilical cord stem cells, as reported here last week.
Isn’t it time that we just forget about pushing this waste of tax dollars on the State or Federal level?