Hwang Woo-Suk, who cloned the first human embryo for harvesting stem cells for therapeutic use in 2004, resigned as the head of the World Stem Cell Hub, an international research body. The resignation follows reports that some of the eggs used for the 2004 study were "bought". South Korean ethical guidelines state eggs for stem cell research should be voluntarily donated.
Hwang, a professor at the Seoul National University, admitted he lied about the source of the eggs used in his experiments. "Being too focused on scientific development, I may not have seen all the ethical issues related to my research," Hwang said. In May 2004, the British journal Nature said his graduate students donated eggs for research. Hwang then denied the charges outright. Ethically, researchers should not take eggs from their team who are vulnerable to pressure.
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