Monday, December 19, 2005

Kim Seon-jong's Rebuttal of Hwang's Accusation

From yesterday's post, readers will recall Hwang's accusation:
"I believe that one of my collaborators, who had access to both the laboratory at Seoul National University and the Mizmedi hospital, switched the stem cell lines. I would welcome a probe by prosecutors to look into this."
Today's Korea Herald (December 19, 2005) has an article collated from various news reports, "SNU panel begins interviewing Hwang and his 20 colleagues," that reports the reaction of one of those collaborators that Hwang implicitly accused of switching the stem-cell lines:
[Kim Seon-jong] said he wasn't even aware of Hwang's claim about the replacement of the stem cell lines.

Hwang suspected a few researchers who were allowed to enter both Hwang's and Roh's labs might have been involved in the switch, without naming them, insinuating Kim could be one of them as he was a key researcher at Roh's hospital.

"Professor Hwang is suspecting me, and I don't understand it. If I had really made the replacement, what benefit could I have earned?" Kim said. "I did not have a lab ID card, so other researchers were always beside me when I was working in the lab."
Hwang's charge is beginning to sound like a desperate one.

It sounds even more desperate when I add something that my wife told me. Late yesterday evening, she read online of another rebuttal, this one by Dr. Yoon Hyun-soo, who holds a position at Hanyang University but who also works for the Division of Stem Cell Biology, in the Medical Research Center at MizMedi Hospital, which means that he would be one of those implicated by Hwang's innuendo about someone at the MizMedi Hospital switching the stem-cell lines.

If this report of Yoon's rebuttal holds true, it portends bad news for Hwang because Yoon was one of the two trusted members on Hwang's team who flew to Pittsburgh on December 1, 2005 to look for Park Eul-soon, the missing researcher who had donated some of her own eggs for Hwang's research.

A few more rebuttals like this one, and Hwang will have made so many new enemies that Korea will begin "[t]o spit out all the butt-ends of . . . [Hwang's] days and ways."


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