Korean scientist convicted in R&D embezzlement scandal

Once hailed as a national hero for his groundbreaking work on new stem cell therapies, South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk was convicted of embezzling research funds and sentenced to a three year suspended sentence. The court in Seoul confirmed that Hwang had fabricated scientific evidence and used some of the money he had received for his stem cell work for non-R&D related expenses.

Hwang abruptly resigned from Seoul National University in 2005 after admitting that part of his high-profile stem cell research had been fabricated. But he has steadfastly maintained that the work he had done on patient specific stem cells was scientifically sound. And his claim of creating the world's first dog clone was later confirmed.

Hwang had attracted the world's attention with his claim that a team of scientists he led had used cloned human embryos to extract material that mirrored the DNA in 11 patients. The work heralded a new approach to treated Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and other lethal ailments. But the embryo cloning has never been confirmed and investigators found that two stem cell lines were used to create 11 sets of data.

Korea was quick to strip the scientist of any awards that had been given to him. But Hwang continued to work on cloning long after his public fall from grace.

- read the story from the BBC
- check out CNN's report on Hwang