Original human embryo cloning claim now drawing scrutiny

In a further blow to the credibility of the South Korean researcher who claimed to be the first to &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2000/12/21/1589.html' target=_blank>clone a human embryo, the journal Science said Tuesday it's now investigating a 2004 study it published that first brought Hwang Woo-suk to prominence.

At issue are two vital photographs that Hwang used to illustrate his breakthrough claim. They appear identical to photos published previously in another journal on an unrelated topic.

The latest allegation adds to a long list of charges leveled against the fallen "cloning king" in the past month.

Hwang maintains his central findings, published in two Science papers in 2004 and 2005, are legitimate. But he has admitted to ethical lapses and sloppy reporting and has asked for the 2005 cloning paper to be retracted.

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