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A scientific pariah pursues redemption, one cloned dog at a time

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Cloned dog
Cloned dog

A decade ago, South Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang was among the premiere cloning experts in the world, credited with creating the first line of cloned human embryonic stem cells. And then his empire fell to pieces: Hwang was revealed to have published papers with fabricated data, and to have engaged in decidedly unethical tactics to obtain human eggs, among other controversial behavior. It was, in the words of the president at Hwang's research university, "an unwashable blemish on the whole scientific community as well as our country."

Since then, however, Hwang has hardly shied away from scientific pursuits. As a feature in Nature describes, Hwang has continued to conduct research at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation he founded in 2006. There, he and a team of 45 staff members are cloning animals like dogs, cows, and pigs, largely with the aim of treating human ailments like diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. And Hwang isn't stopping there: among a bevy of other projects, he's even collaborating on an effort to clone a mammoth.