SEOUL (AFP) — A South Korean scientist who once said he wanted to be as famous as now-disgraced stem cell expert Hwang Woo-Suk has been caught faking his study, news reports here said Saturday.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) said Friday it had suspended bioscience professor Kim Tae-kook for fabricating data in two papers, which had been hailed as breakthroughs and were published in two renowned journals.
The controversial papers include "A Magnetic Nanoprobe Technology for Detecting Molecular Interactions in Live Cells" published in Science in July 2005 and "Small Molecule-Based Reversible Reprogramming of Cellular Lifespan" released in Nature Chemicalbiology in July 2006.
His research was said to have paved the way for developing medicines that can detect and kill cancer cells selectively without hurting normal cells or materials that can prevent the ageing of cells and extend human life.
But KAIST said Kim had fabricated data for both papers, adding it had suspended Kim and informed both journals about the findings.
"Professor Kim manipulated microscopic photos to fabricate study results," Lee Gyun-Min, head of KAIST's Department of Biological Sciences, told reporters Friday at KAIST in the central city of Daejeon.
The university was unable to reach Kim, who is believed to be in the US, he said.
In January 2006, Science had to retract two papers written by Hwang Woo-Suk after his stem-cell research was found to be bogus.
After publishing his first paper in Science in July 2005, Kim told a local newspaper: "I want to become another Hwang Woo-Suk for Korea."
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »