Seoul National University (SNU) has agreed to the request of stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk to investigate claims his team had fabricated photographs of stem cell samples in a groundbreaking paper in Science in May. In the meantime, scientists are questioning whether the seemingly ever-growing controversy over Hwang's work will have lasting repercussions on stem cell research overall.

At a press conference today (December 12), Roe Jung-hye, dean of SNU's Office of Research Affairs, said that a 10-member investigation panel would focus on whether the Korean researcher fabricated figures of 11 personalized stem cell samples described in the paper -- and whether the patient-specific stem cells really exist, according to local media.

Meanwhile, news reports said that Hwang, who was hospitalized for stress last week, came to work on Monday. Outlets reported that he returned to his lab for the first time since admitting three weeks ago that researchers...

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