A special panel of the Seoul National University (SNU) Tuesday concluded that South Korea's embattled researcher Hwang Woo-suk's 2004 paper on first human embryonic stem cell line was fabricated.
The panel made the conclusion in its final report released at a televised press conference on Tuesday on probing the authenticity of Hwang's stem cell researches.
In the paper published in February 2004 by the U.S.- based journal of Science, Hwang's team claimed it successfully cloned human embryo and extracted a stem cell line from it for the first time in the world.
The nine-member panel judged in the final report that data used in the 2004 paper was based on ovum's "parthenogenesis mutation" that may be cultivated accidently.
"We reached a conclusion that DNA printing and stem cell photos used in the 2004 paper contained fabrications," Chung Myung-hee, head of the special panel, said at the press conference.
The 2004 paper made Hwang the first class scientist in the stem cell research field in the world.
The panel also concluded Hwang's previous allegation that his team holds "core technology" of producing stem cells lacked practicality.
"There was no scientific evidence that Hwang had produced stem cells," said Chung.
However, the panel verified the authenticity of the world first cloned dog - "Snuppy", which was made by Hwang's team in 2005.
"Snuppy was confirmed to have been cloned from somatic cells of a dog," said Chung.
The latest conclusion was another blow to Hwang's fame, after the panel concluded in late December 2005 that Hwang's team fabricated results in the paper published by Science in May 2005 and no patient-tailored embryonic stem cell lines Hwang's team claimed in the 2005 paper exists currently.
In the 2005 paper, Hwang's team claimed it successfully produced 11 patient-tailored stem cell lines. The development cited in the paper was widely viewed an important progress in the therapeutic cloning research.
Stem cells are primal undifferentiated cells which retain the ability to differentiate into other cell types. Medical researchers believe stem cell research has the potential to find new way to treat hard-to-cure diseases by developing stem cells to specific tissues or organs.