If this is true, it should cinch the total fraud perpetrated by Woo-Suk Hwang. Hwang’s excuse for failing to prove that he actually cloned human embryos is apparently going to be that the bona fide cloned embryonic stem cell lines were switched with lines taken from embryos created through fertilization. But he has lied about everything else, so even if true–barring clear proof–who will believe him?
This story, while being reported, in my view is still being underplayed. It should rock science to the core and materially impact the debate on cloning. Hwang had more than $60 million to create clones and cloned embryonic stem cell lines. If he didn’t do it–or better stated, couldn’t do it–a question has to be asked even by supporters of therapeutic cloning: Is investing billions into this research really worth the price, or worth diverting these massive funds away from more promising and/or immediately beneficial avenues of medical investigations?