Disgraced veterinarian Hwang Woo-suk has obtained a U.S. patent for an embryonic stem cell line he claims to have produced by cloning human tissue.
Hwang used the NT-1 stem cell line as evidence of a revolutionary procedure in an article in Science magazine in 2004, which was later discredited due to his falsification of data.
Hwang is seeking to restart his human stem cell research, and the patent is apparently a bid to recover some credibility.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed that Hwang's stem cell line has been patented and is now legally protected. The process by which he claims to have obtained it is also patented in the U.S. But patent attorneys here said that does not imply the procedure actually works.
Once showered with honors including being named "National Scientist," Hwang has since his protracted fall from grace gone back to cloning dogs.