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How Did Research Team Acquire Ova?

Posted November. 15, 2005 03:08,   


The Ministry of Science and Technology has decided to find the truth about the ethical controversy raised over Seoul National University professor Hwang Woo-seok’s research team’s method of obtaining ova by launching an investigation.

The decision came as professor Gerald P. Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh declared his intention to leave the joint research project with Hwang over ethical controversy regarding the process of acquiring human eggs.

Kim Young-shik, a director of the ministry, said on November 14, “We believe that there is no ethical problem with Hwang’s experiments. But we requested Hwang’s related data as Schatten’s remark has far-reaching implications.”

That day, Hwang met with reporters before attending a media conference hosted by CNN in COEX Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul and said, “I don’t know anything other than professor Schatten announcing that he will leave the joint project.”

He added, “I will unveil everything at an appropriate time. Please wait,” avoiding concrete answers over the reason for Schatten’s departure and the ethical problem that Schatten raised. Ahn Kyu-ri, a professor of Seoul National University`s Medical School and who accompanied Hwang that day, said, “We are doing our best to grasp the situation. We will honestly publicize everything after fully investigating what Schatten said.”

Delivering a lecture with the theme of “perception of the possibilities of innovation” at the media conference, Hwang reaffirmed his stance by saying, “All my research was conducted with strict conformity to the ethical guidelines provided by the government.”

Jae-Young Kim wolfkim@donga.com jaykim@donga.com