Accordingly, it should come as no surprise when the Times of London reports that one of the most prominent alleged successes of ESCs was in fact fabricated, and the scientist has admitted it:
The scientist who led the world in pioneering human cloning faked much of the data for his landmark research into embryonic stem (ES) cells, one of his close collaborators said today.
Woo Suk Hwang has admitted to fabricating key parts of a study that purported to show the creation of the first human master cells tailor-made to match individual patients, according to Sung il Roh, a senior colleague at his laboratory in Seoul, South Korea.
Dr Roh said that nine of the 11 colonies of stem cells featured in the study, which was published to worldwide acclaim in May in the prestigious journal Science, had not been authentic. The validity of the other two is still uncertain.
He said Dr Hwang had admitted to flaws in the study when Dr Roh visited him today in hospital, where the scientist is being treated for exhaustion. Both researchers had then agreed to ask Science formally to retract their paper. "Professor Hwang admitted to fabrication," Dr Roh told the MBC, a Korean television station. "Hwang said there were no cloned embryonic stem cells at all and he did not know that."
What is at fault here is the excessive enthusiasm for ESCs, which is far beyond the bounds of what they have accomplished or can realistically be expected to achieve, especially in comparison with ASCs. When the press start praising the authentic, documented achievements of ASCs with one-tenth the enthusiasm with which they greet the meager work that has been done with ESCs, the temptation to cheat in favor of finding false hopeful results for the latter will decrease accordingly.