The Newsletter 52 Winter 2009

Beyond Hwang. 'International stem cell war' in South Korea

Leo Kim

Stem cell research has caught the public’s attention and human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research provokes headlines ranging from ‘holy grail’ to ‘Frankenstein clone’. In less emotive terms, embryonic stem cells are more versatile than adult stem cells in developing into the nearly 200 different cell types and organs of the body. The hope is that these cells will cure numerous chronic diseases simply by replacing damaged cells. But, as Leo Kim reports, the 2005 Hwang scandal has left hESC research in South Korea tainted by controversy and impacted the science worldwide.

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