The disgraced Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang may be granted the embryonic stem cell patent he submitted 30 December 2003. He has also been hired by the Raelians http://www.rael.org/rael_content/index.php to further their Clonaid http://www.clonaid.com/news.php research. This will be great news for all religious fundementalists and right-wing politicans that oppose embryonic stem cell research. Not only will they be able to ridicule Hwang for his association with the New-Age cultist Raelians, but they will also know that no one else capitalize on research into this area of human cloning while he holds the patent unless he offers a license.
Embryonic stem cells are touted as offering cures to conditions that
are currently incurable or limited in treatment, including juvenile
diabetes, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, sickle cell anemia,
Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, birth
defects, osteoporosis, severe burn injuries, multiple sclerosis and
Disgraced cloning pioneer could keep his patents
16:36 18 January 2006
NewScientist.com news service
A patent application, filed by disgraced stem cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang and colleagues and based on work now admitted to be fabricated, may nevertheless be granted, a New Scientist investigation has found.
Furthermore, the filing of the application could present a substantial obstacle to anyone seeking future patents in the same field.
The application was filed on 30 December 2003 by Hwang, along with 19 other researchers at Seoul National University. SNU has publicly apologised for Hwang’s misconduct, but it has not said whether it will voluntarily abandon all patents. University president Un-Chan Chung had not responded to New Scientist’s question on this at the time of publication.
Hwang’s patent submission (in pdf format) stakes a claim in over 120 countries for a legal monopoly on the broad concept of "an embryonic stem cell (ESC) line derived from a nucleus-transferred oocyte prepared by transferring a nucleus of a human somatic cell into an enucleated human oocyte". Or, in simple terms, an ESC line derived from a cloned human embryo – a technique which, if achieved, could prove crucial to future therapeutic cloning methods.
In support of the claim, the application details experimental methods and cites a sample ESC line deposited with the Korean Cell Line Research Foundation. The sample, number KCLRF-BP-00092, has since been discredited by the SNU Investigation Committee set up to investigate Hwang’s work. The
committee’s report was published on 10 January.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006. 11:10am (AEDT)
Raelians offer disgraced stem cell researcher work
South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a science superstar disgraced when his pioneering stem cell research was unmasked as a hoax, has a new job offer from a UFO cult that says it has produced six human clones.
Clonaid, a company linked to the Raelian Movement, a group that believes humans were cloned from prehistoric alien visitors to Earth, said it had offered him a post in one of its laboratories.
The firm has never provided proof of the six clones it says it has produced and does not reveal where the laboratories it says it has are located.
Dr Hwang quit his post at Seoul National University in December 2005 after his claim to have cloned human embryonic stem cells, which could be used to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s, was shown to have been faked.
"We at Clonaid believe that Dr Hwang has cloned human embryos and has the knowledge to develop stem cell lines," the company said in a message posted on its website on Sunday.
The Raelian Movement, whose leader Rael — a former French sports journalist named Claude Vorhilon — says cloning is the first step towards eternal life.
When Clonaid announced that its sixth cloned baby had been born in Sydney in 2004, Australian Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott called the announcement "the medical equivalent of a UFO story."