Korea's cloning pioneer hospitalized

South Korean cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk, recently embroiled in an ethics scandal, was hospitalized yesterday with extreme stress and would not be returning to work any time soon, according to hospital officials.

Hwang was admitted to Seoul National University Hospital early yesterday, spokesman Pi Ji-young confirmed.

YTN television broadcast footage of an unshaven Hwang lying on a bed at the hospital.

Sung Myung-hoon, another hospital staff, said it would take about a week of treatment for Hwang to recover from extreme stress and fatigue.

Last month, Hwang, who gained international renown for creating the world's first human embryos and extracting stem cells from them, publicly apologized for ethical lapses in his research.

After more than a year of denial, Hwang admitted his team at Seoul National University used eggs donated from two junior scientists in his lab. He also acknowledged recently discovering that a hospital doctor paid some women for their eggs used in his research.

Hwang last month stepped down as head of the World Stem Cell Hub, a stem cell bank that is part of an international project announced in October aimed at finding treatments for incurable diseases.

Since the ethics controversy erupted, Hwang's US collaborators, including University of Pittsburgh researcher Gerald Schatten, have dropped out of the project, the AP reports.


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