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New York Times Says South Korea Makes Another Life Science Breakthrough

New York Times Says South Korea Makes Another Life Science Breakthrough

Posted August. 05, 2005 04:58,   


Professor Hwang Woo-suk and his research team at Seoul National University successfully cloned a dog for the first time ever in the world. At this news, press from around the world carried responses such as “Amazing,” and “It comes as no surprise that the difficult task of cloning a dog was done by Hwang’s team.”

In the meantime, some experts showed a guarded response, saying that the success of cloning of dogs raised the issue of ethics in biotechnology once again. Amid these mixed responses, Hwang plans to visit Colombia in Latin America this month, drawing attention to the background of his visit.

The New York Times reported on August 4 that “Professor Hwang’s team made another breakthrough following the previous achievement of extracting stem cells from cloned embryos of patients with incurable diseases for the first time in the world three months ago. Many scientists gave up cloning dogs, but the team led by Hwang succeeded since the team has excellent research capability and it is easy to find a dog surrogate mother and ova in South Korea.”

The Associated Press reported that “as a variety of animals are successfully cloned, the perception that all kinds of mammals, including human beings, can be cloned is spreading. Scientific circles hope that the cloned dog lives longer, unlike other cloned animals, and that the successful cloning of dogs will be helpful in research into treatments for incurable human diseases.”

The BBC reported concerns voiced by some scientists that “the cloning of dogs is scientifically significant, but using animals for experiments in order to research human diseases and treatment raises ethical concerns.”

Major newspapers in Latin America such as El Universal of Mexico and La Nacion of Argentina gave prominent coverage to the success of professor Hwang’s team in their science sections on August 4.

El Tiempo, a major newspaper in Columbia, carried the story of the successful cloning of dogs and reported that Hwang will visit Columbia this month. But it gave no details as to date, intentions, and schedule of his visit.

Mi-Kyung Jung mickey@donga.com