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South Korea indicts scientist for stem-cell fraud

.- Cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk was indicted Friday on charges of fraud, embezzlement and bioethics violations in a scandal over faked stem-cell research, reported the Associated Press.

Hwang was hailed worldwide until investigations late last year showed that he had fabricated key data. The scientist had claimed that he created the world's first cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them.

Hwang was charged with fraud for accepting $2 million in private donations based on the outcome of the falsified research, and for allegedly embezzling nearly $900,000 in private and government research funds, reported the AP.

Five members of Hwang's research team were indicted as well. Three were charged with fraud, one with tampering research samples and one with bioethics violations, reported the AP.

Hwang acknowledged that he inflated and fabricated data in his renowned 2005 paper, but he accused other researchers of deceiving him with falsified results. It was unclear when Hwang became aware he had been deceived.

Hwang maintains he has the technology to do what he claimed, but South Korea's Health Ministry withdrew his research license. He has also been fired from Seoul National University where he was a professor in the veterinary department, reported the AP.

The government also conducted an audit of his finances. Auditors say it is unclear how Hwang spent $2.6 million he received in government funds and private donations, reported the AP. Last year, Hwang received $33 million in government funds and $6.4 million in private donations.

Hwang was hailed worldwide until investigations late last year showed that he had fabricated key data. The scientist had claimed that he created the world's first cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them.

Hwang was charged with fraud for accepting $2 million in private donations based on the outcome of the falsified research, and for allegedly embezzling nearly $900,000 in private and government research funds, reported the AP.

Five members of Hwang's research team were indicted as well. Three were charged with fraud, one with tampering research samples and one with bioethics violations, reported the AP.

Hwang acknowledged that he inflated and fabricated data in his renowned 2005 paper, but he accused other researchers of deceiving him with falsified results. It was unclear when Hwang became aware he had been deceived.

Hwang maintains he has the technology to do what he claimed, but South Korea's Health Ministry withdrew his research license. He has also been fired from Seoul National University where he was a professor in the veterinary department, reported the AP.

The government also conducted an audit of his finances. Auditors say it is unclear how Hwang spent $2.6 million he received in government funds and private donations, reported the AP. Last year, Hwang received $33 million in government funds and $6.4 million in private donations.

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