News that key parts of a landmark stem cell research paper out of South Korea may have been fabricated is already fueling the related ethics debate.
South Korean media reported that reknown stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk--most recently heralded for leading a team that cloned the world's first dog--admitted to the fabrication of nine of the 11 stem-cell lines that were part of a paper published in Science earlier this year, according to a Reuters story. The study was about developing tailored stem cells that could lead one day to cures for ailments such as severe spinal cord injuries.
It should be noted that officials at Science have not yet been able to reach Hwang for confirmation on the media reports. But that's not keeping bloggers from offering their two cents.
Blog community response:
"I don't claim to never lie and admit to harmless lies, like how many girlfriends I have had or telling a woman how hot she looks when she might just look average. But when it comes to life and death issues I think people should tell only 100 percent truth."
--A Webmaster's Life
"But why the media outrage over Hwang? After all, when editorial writers around the country insist (almost weekly) that moral concerns MUST take a back seat to science, they can't really complain when some enterprising scientists follows their advice and cheats with his paper. "
"While it is lamentable that a (likely) fake paper will be a setback for stem cell research, I can't help but see it as a blow for all of the sciences. There have been other instances where top science publications released falsified or outright bogus papers, but I believe that this one stands out by virtue of its controversial subject. Negative attention is the last thing needed by publicly controversial research."
--Miraba on Slashdot