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International Scientists Suggest Verification of Snuppy

Posted December. 20, 2005 08:23,   


On December 19, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported that an official from the independent research team of American and European experts appointed to find the truth behind professor Hwang Woo-suk’s research team said he has proof of at least three or four problems in Dr. Hwang’s dog cloning thesis.

Dr. Robert Lanza, a cloning researcher from Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), said during an interview with Yomiuri that not only should Dr.Hwang’s thesis on embryonic stem cells in Science be investigated but also that the thesis about the world’s first cloned dog (Snuppy) should be investigated as well. He had suggested a verification experiment earlier.

Dr. Lanza said he “has proof” concerning the suspicions surrounding the thesis of the cloned dog. Dr. Lanza stated that as Dr. Hwang’s area of expertise is creating twins and multiple births through division of embryos, it would be possible for him to fake the cloning of the dog.

Dr. Lanza suggested a comparison analysis of the original dog and the cloned dog, since in order to find out whether it is fake, an analysis of the mitochondria DNA is needed.

Ian Wilmut of the University of Edinburgh, Dr. Lanza, and six others had earlier suggested independent experiments on Dr. Hwang’s thesis.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com