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The Woo Suk Hwang stem cell scandal is shaping up to be the most significant case of scientific misconduct in years. How badly does it set back the science?

By Philip Ball   February 2006

Game up for Hwang

It was an unhappy Christmas for stem cell researchers. The field seemed to implode when South Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang retracted a landmark paper published last June in the journal Science. Its key claims have been shown to be false, and Hwang has been accused of fabricating data. Although he denies the charge, this is shaping up to be the most significant case of scientific misconduct in years.

Hwang’s research had seemed to establish the feasibility of the holy grail of stem cell research: to produce stem cells cloned from the tissues of patients. Stem…

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