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Stem Cell Fraudster May Have Actually Made Breakthrough

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the a-little-comeuppance dept.

Biotech 206

Otter writes "Woo Suk Hwang's career swung from fame over his lab's claim of the first stem cells from a cloned human embryo to humiliation when the results were found to be fake. Research at Harvard on Hwang's cells has found that they are actually parthenogenic lines derived from eggs -- perhaps a more important and difficult achievement than what he had been claiming! 'Researchers said that the distinct "genetic fingerprint" of the stem cells means they may be the first in the world to be extracted from embryos produced by the so-called "virgin birth" method, or parthenogenesis. This happens when eggs are stimulated into becoming embryos without ever being fertilised by sperm, and has been achieved in animals. However, before Hwang, no one had managed to produce a human embryo using parthenogenesis which lived long enough to allow the extraction of viable stem cells.'"

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Original paper (5, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20103989)

Link to the paper [cellstemcell.com] . I submitted this as a story and didn't want to bomb Cell's servers if it hit the main page...

Re:Original paper (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106347)

It made it - but your comments go with it - so....

Re:Original paper (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106961)

I know, but even that should cut down on the avalanche at least somewhat.

Those darn feminists (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106531)

Soon they will not need men to reproduce, and will begin eliminating us.

Then all those parallel parking spaces across the world will fall into disuse....wasted real estate....

Re:Those darn feminists (2, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106897)

"Soon they will not need men to reproduce, and will begin eliminating us."

You can be sure that someone will try to patent it ... now that they've managed to get the original researcher out of the picture ...

Typo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107855)

I think there is a typo in the guys name: Woo Suk Hwang

It should be:

Joo Suck Huang

ignorance in need of a cure (0, Redundant)

WGFELyL5 (989566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20104511)

Hope you can help me.

New research at Harvard on Hwang's cells has found that they are actually parthenogenic lines derived from eggs -- perhaps a more important and difficult achievement than what he had been claiming [the first stem cells from a cloned human embryo]!
What are parthogenic lines?
Is there a way to derive them other than using eggs?
Do they occur naturally somewhere?

Why is this more important than stem cells from a cloned human embryo?

Why was that important?
Ethicists are satisfied if the destroyed embryo is a cloned one?

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20104639)

What are parthogenic lines?
Is there a way to derive them other than using eggs?
Do they occur naturally somewhere?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis [wikipedia.org]

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106453)

What are parthogenic lines?
Is there a way to derive them other than using eggs?
Do they occur naturally somewhere?


You mean parthenogenic. It means conception of an egg into an embryo without the male sperm (or any other male fertilization).

Yes, in some species, this occurs in nature.

(See? We men aren't useful for much except for fixing cars and hauling around heavy objects. ;)

Why is this more important than stem cells from a cloned human embryo?


Because it wasn't previously thought possible.

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106633)

(See? We men aren't useful for much except for fixing cars and hauling around heavy objects. ;)

It's a standing joke between my Beloved and I.... "If only cucumbers could mow the grass...."

I hope it's a joke, at least.

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (4, Funny)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106875)

best be glad she knows nothing of astroturf :P

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (2, Insightful)

sYkSh0n3 (722238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106905)

(See? We men aren't useful for much except for fixing cars and hauling around heavy objects. ;)


Unfortunately, they dont even need us for cars [beyondhollywood.com] or lifting [canalblog.com] anymore.

And since us average slashdot readers [jeffpidgeon.com] weren't good for either anyway. what are we gonna do???

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

But seriously. Am I to understand that this guy did something thats amazingly hard to do, and fraudulently claimed he did something else that was easier than what he really did. And if that's so, what is wrong with this guy? Does he even understand the field he claims to work in?

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107063)

Now that it is, at least, thought possible, stretch a little and theres your immaculate conception.

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (0)

superstick58 (809423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107089)

(See? We men aren't useful for much except for fixing cars and hauling around heavy objects. ;)

Oh we have much more value! For instance, who's going to open all those jars?

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (5, Funny)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106567)

Parthenogenesis is how they built that temple in Athens.

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (2, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106993)

> What are parthogenic lines?
> Is there a way to derive them other than using eggs?

As a Slashdot reader, I am sure that what you really want to ask is: "can we reproduce without women?". And Dr.Hwang's research has sadly failed to produce an answer to that question so far. Perhaps we should set up a donation site to prod him to research in that direction instead of trying to get women to conceive without men. I am sure that millions of Slashdot readers, and, of course, China, would be immensely grateful should such research be successful.

Re:ignorance in need of a cure (1)

quasius (1075773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107723)

"Ethicists are satisfied if the destroyed embryo is a cloned one?" No. If it's a human baby, you can't kill it. It's that simple. And from what I understand, this parthogenic egg grows just as any other embryo, correct?

In a related story... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106451)

I managed to achieve cold fusion while cooking my breakfast in the microwave this morning.

Re:In a related story... (4, Funny)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106947)

Then why did you originally claim it was a time machine for cats? Fraudster!

Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (3, Funny)

crossb0nez (1078925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106473)

This has been done Once before in history... :)

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (4, Funny)

aquabat (724032) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106535)

This has been done Once before in history... :)
Jesus Christ! That's pretty amazing!

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (4, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106681)

Jesus Christ! That's pretty amazing! To produce a male offspring by parthenogenesis, the mother would have to be a chimera formed between her and a fraternal twin, and somehow produced an egg from the male-chimeric half's cells, which then underwent parthenogenesis.

Now the probabilities are approaching miraculous.

Of course, that would mean that Jesus was genetically Mary's twin brother.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (4, Funny)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106779)

Chimera? Are we talking about the upside-down head kind or the croco-lion-wolf kind?

Sorry. You say Chimera and I think FMA.

But seriously, that's a very interesting question. Would that I still had mod points for the day.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107051)

Roman consulate: Your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for...sister! So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. The Wise Men was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the roman high priests, then perhaps she will...

(so obligatory)

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Funny)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107293)

To produce a male offspring by parthenogenesis, the mother would have to be a chimera formed between her and a fraternal twin, and somehow produced an egg from the male-chimeric half's cells, which then underwent parthenogenesis.
So that's how Jesus' midi-chlorian level was so high!

Of course, that would mean that Jesus was genetically Mary's twin brother.
So hers were the same level? Now I'm confused.

Jesus's twin sister? (1)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107345)

Roman Priests: Your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for...sister! So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. The Three Wise Men were wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107079)

I am dying to know who was the first one?

AC

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107507)

so that means Mary was a molecular biologist investigating how to clone stem cells?

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107647)

Great Zombie Jesus that was funny!

Yes! (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106539)

This has been done Once before in history... :)

FTFA:...from embryos produced by the so-called "virgin birth" method, or parthenogenesis.

That's right - Jesus! The Bible is right. The word of God has scientific proof! Yeaaaaassss, praise Jesus!

I see the liiiiight! Aaaaaammmmayyyahen!

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106791)

Except that immaculate conception infers that Mary's embryo was fertilized by God - a magical baby. If anything parthenogenesis is another obstacle the church will have to ignore/manipulate for the sheep to stay.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106541)

I bulieve you. If you can prove it?

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106569)

We are talking about Darth Vader right? (A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...)

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (3, Interesting)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106609)

According to Christian theology, sin nature comes in through the man which was why Jesus was perfect and sinless. I'd be interested to see if a human could come from this sort of procedure and what they would be like; theologically they'd have no sin nature. Wow, there's something to wrap your head around.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106745)

Are you serious?

Because if you are I think you need to spend more time with Christians (or stop talking about them).

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Aslan72 (647654) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107031)

Right, he was God made flesh, yes, and by definition perfect already. But he avoided the curse and subsequent sin nature by the way he was born.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107633)

Actually, no. That sounds like a distortion of Roman Catholic theology(which as far as I know, no other Christian group agrees with). According to Roman Catholic theology, Jesus was sinless because Mary was sinless because of the Immaculate Conception (which was the conception of Mary). I may still have that wrong, not being Catholic, but it is closer than your understanding.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106773)

Not so. Your basic premise is false.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106785)

Um, no. When the Bible refers to "man", it means "mankind". Jesus was half-mankind, half-God. He still was tempted by the sinful nature of man (e.g. the devil tempting Jesus in the desert), but he was able to resist the temptation. So I'm afraid there's no theological dilemma looming here.

From the perspective of science, parthenogenesis has long been known to be a possible physical explanation for a real-life virgin birth. It's just that up until now, there has been no solid proof that it could happen in humans.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. You can find physical explanations for everything that happens in the universe. That's not the point. If you believe in God, then you must believe that it's his Universe that follows his Laws. Which means that everything that happens has an explanation inside the universe. The only question is, did it happen because an extra-universal God made it happen (some of these events have pretty freaky odds) or because it was simply a big coincidence? That's an answer that science can't provide (at least yet) and where theology comes into play.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107107)

Um, no. When the Bible refers to "man", it means "mankind". Jesus was half-mankind, half-God.

I'm afraid "half" is not well-defined at all in this context. Can you elaborate? Could you also define what you mean by "God" and how that relates to the concept of "half" that you have clarified for me above?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. You can find physical explanations for everything that happens in the universe. That's not the point. If you believe in God, then you must believe that it's his Universe that follows his Laws. Which means that everything that happens has an explanation inside the universe.

So where are we to get the knowledge of this god if everything has an explanation within the universe? Because you say so? Because someone a long time ago said so?


The only question is, did it happen because an extra-universal God made it happen (some of these events have pretty freaky odds) or because it was simply a big coincidence?


But these "freaky odds" are all by nature computed post-hoc. What were the odds that a car with the license plate VFD-111 just drove past me? Really low, right! Too low to be a coincidence? Post-hoc probability calculations are almost always worthless, so "freaky odds" don't really matter.

That's an answer that science can't provide (at least yet) and where theology comes into play.

So we realize we have a limited understanding of the universe, and therefore should explain things by magic instead of simply admitting our ignorance?

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Funny)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107911)

What were the odds that a car with the license plate VFD-111 just drove past me?
That's my license plate, you insensitive clod!

Calling Christopher Hitchens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107363)

Not that I put any credence in this theology business, but I'm afraid you're mistaken. Christ is supposed to be wholly Man and wholly God, not half of each. Your view of Christ seems similar to the Nestorian heresy, and has been out of style for about 1,700 years.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

NaugaHunter (639364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107391)

First you have to accept that 'virgin birth' meant 'conception without sex', and not that it simply meant 'young woman birth' when applying a translation of a hebrew word to tie Jesus' birth back to the predictions written about in Isaiah 7:14:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
The King James Version mistranslates the Hebrew word "almah", which means "young woman" as "virgin". (The Hebrew word, "bethulah", means "virgin".) In addition, the young woman referred to in this verse was living at the time of the prophecy. And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus -- and is not called Emmanuel in any verse in the New Testament.

Of course, I recall singing songs about Emmanuel around Easter. Like it was his Super Secret name only true believers knew, or something.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

yoyoq (1056216) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107465)

i always wondered about that Emmanuel name too.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107547)

And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus -- and is not called Emmanuel in any verse in the New Testament.

*cough*

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel" (which being interpreted is, "God with us"). --Matthew 1:23 of the New Testament

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (3, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107579)

some of these events have pretty freaky odds

Precisely. Which is why it makes *far* more sense to believe the obvious: Mary got pregnant out of wedlock, then came up with a clever little tale so she wouldn't be ostracized.

Honestly, why people turn to magic when simple human behaviour can explain such things, I'll never know.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107653)

Um, no. When the Bible refers to "man", it means "mankind".

Hmmm where does it say that? Oh wait that's just an interpretation it doesn't explicitely say that anywhere in the bible.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106825)

According to Christian theology, sin nature comes in through the man which was why Jesus was perfect and sinless. I'd be interested to see if a human could come from this sort of procedure and what they would be like; theologically they'd have no sin nature. Wow, there's something to wrap your head around.

I'm not sure which Christian theology thinks like that. I do know however, that the Catholic tradition is different.

In it a special event occurred during the creation of Mary. This was the "Immaculate conception". This somehow preventing Mary from inheriting Original sin. As such she was able to ascend directly to heaven upon her death. Further Jesus Christ had no original sin as neither GOD nor Mary was inflicted with it.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106959)

This was basically a memetic compatibility hack so that christianity could take over northern european Goddess-worship. The pagan irish, in particular, remember, worshipped female goddesses. The Virign Mary _had_ to be made a demigod, to memetically engineer the takeover of celtic (and similar northern europan) religions (Now you know why Irish people are usually catholic). And you know all those stupid saints that catholics are always praying to? Hundreds of them are basically transcodings of the celtic and other pagan pantheons.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107141)

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Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107621)

Raven, is that you?

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106967)

Actually it was Eve that first at the apple, and the first sin.

Also I don't recall Jesus being sinless; there's at least one part that says he did sin.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107055)

Also I don't recall Jesus being sinless; there's at least one part that says he did sin.

Eh? When did Jesus sin? He was tempted by sin, but never gave into it. The Bible is very clear on the fact that he was "a man without blame".

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107077)

Well, since Jesus never existed...

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107339)

Anyone who thinks that Jesus didn't exist is as far removed from science as the Christians they're railing against.

There is little to no argument that a historical figure named Jesus existed. Whether everything said about him in the New Testament is true or not *is* strongly debated.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107649)

Yup. The same is true of Siddhartha Gautama. Though, interestingly, there's far more historical evidence supporting his existence than there is of Jesus Christ.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107759)

Now all we need is someone to mention that Mohammad was a real person too and we'll have a complete set.

Err... I just did that, didn't I? Damn.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106611)

Yeah, but don't let's bring Xenu into this. These Slashdotters don't approve.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (0, Troll)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106907)

Please take your fairy-tales elsewhere. This is slashdot, not bible-happy-fun-fun-koombiya camp.

Bring on the spelling Nazis!

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107703)

>koombiya

That's properly spelled Kumbaya or Kum Ba Yah.

You're welcome.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

Segod (463725) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107033)

More than once

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theodore_dr ange/bible.html [infidels.org]

"Many famous people and mythical heroes were said, by one group or another, to have been born of a virgin. Among them were Julius Caesar, Augustus, Aristomenes, Alexander the Great, Plato, Cyrus, the elder Scipio, some of the Egyptian Pharaohs, the Buddha, Hermes, Mithra, Attis-Adonis, Hercules, Cybele, Demeter, Leo, and Vulcan. For this reason it seems likely that Matthew and the Greek translators of the Septuagint did not discover the virgin birth idea in Isaiah, but imposed it upon the text."

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

CapnGrunge (233552) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107181)

Deus ex machina.

Err... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107379)

Not to spoil a joke, but we went through this last time. This method of conception only produces female offspring.

Re:Um, sorry to correct the writer but... (1)

bagsc (254194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107407)

You know, at first I thought: "Finally! An ethical source of stem cells! Christians can't argue that parthenogenic embryos are worth saving!"
Then I thought: "Wait, Christians thought a parthenogenic embryo WAS saving..."
A moment later: "Wait, Christians think a parthenogenic embryo can save mankind!"

I will stop thinking there :)

yay parthenogenesis (1)

7macaw (933316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106485)

I, for one, welcome our new zygotless overlords!

Re:yay parthenogenesis (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106577)

I fucking hate this stupid joke

Re:yay parthenogenesis (1, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106945)

In Soviet Russia, this stupid joke fucking hates YOU!

Re:yay parthenogenesis (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106981)

>>In Soviet Russia, this stupid joke fucking hates YOU!

I think that's the funniest use of that joke I've seen.

Re:yay parthenogenesis (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106843)

Although, the bigger question still remains... Will our new zygotless overlords blend?

Re:yay parthenogenesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106987)

Stop it with that forced meme

Re:yay parthenogenesis (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107719)

Shouldn't that be overladies?

Not a waste of research (5, Insightful)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106487)

The whole lying about the accomplishment aside, I've always said that even if you don't find what you're looking for, humanity is better off for knowing all the other ways of not accomplishing that task vs. no research done at all.

Re:Not a waste of research (4, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106585)

>>> I've always said that even if you don't find what you're looking for, humanity is better off for knowing all the other ways of not accomplishing that task vs. no research done at all.

Then I should publish the 7376528 pickup lines that I know don't work....

Re:Not a waste of research (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107765)

Would any of them be these [xkcd.com] ?

However... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106489)

This gives a whole new meaning to "You should've seen the one that goy away"!

Does this shed new light on his previous claims... (1)

LLKrisJ (1021777) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106493)

I mean, could it be that he was not voluntarily trying to scam everybody, but just misinterpreted his results? This is great stuff if it is true!

Re:Does this shed new light on his previous claims (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107437)

What I got from the article from the BBC certainly suggested that possibility. If the scientific community didn't know that parthenogenesis in humans was possible to induce, and if this scientist didn't know that it was believed impossible...
He would've been in trouble anyway because of where he got the eggs from, but it's possible this was an almost-innocent mistake.

basically (4, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106507)

Stem Cell Fraudster May Have Actually Made Breakthrough

cl-0wned!

Woo Suk Hwang Haters... (4, Funny)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106509)

have egg on their face now?

Huh? (4, Funny)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106517)

Woo Suk Hwang's career...

Cruelest...Parents...Evar

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106631)

Woo Suk Hwang's career...

Cruelest...Parents...Evar
If you think thats bad my dads name comes out phenetically as chew gay wang.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107615)

I saw a sign in a store once that had

Customer of the month:
[Asian lady's picture]
  Mi Su Kim

Jesus? (0, Redundant)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106599)

may be the first in the world to be extracted from embryos produced by the so-called "virgin birth" method, or parthenogenesis.

Is this another Jesus? I thought those xtians were a little freaky, but could they have been right all along?

Re:Jesus? (3, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106645)

Is this another Jesus? I thought those xtians were a little freaky, but could they have been right all along?

Maybe, but only if Mary had a Y chromosome.

Re:Jesus? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106729)

Parthenogenesis only results in female babies.

In order to make male babies, you need a Y chromosome(which
women don't have).

Re:Jesus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106743)

or her "son" didn't.

Re:Jesus? (5, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106895)

or her "son" didn't.

"He" did have awfully long hair.

Re:Jesus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106851)

> Maybe, but only if Mary had a Y chromosome.

Big black Nemesis,
Parthenogenesis,
Mary, clone of Jesus, swappin' chromosomes.

- with apologies to Shreikback

Re:Jesus? (2, Funny)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106911)

Is this another Jesus?

Yes, now you too can have your own personal Jesus. Someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares, someone whos there...

(Strangely, I now feel like I have a Depeche Mode beating in my immediate future)

Hwang achieves parthogenesis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106691)

There's a joke in there, but I just can't put my finger on it...

A Better Link (2, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106751)

This was covered yesterday on NPR Radio [npr.org] .

He was not the first one. (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106777)

All of us know, long time ago, in a galaxy far away, the mitochloreans engineered a parthenogenic birth in Tattoonie.

Translation Error? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106803)

So, could the original claim of cloning been simply a translation error rather than fraud?

Quote from Woo Suk Hwang (4, Funny)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#20106835)

"Um. Yeah. Well... I planned that. It's a feature."

Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106839)

So now women can make babies without us *and* do math? I think it's safe to say that this is a bad news day for men everywhere.

I Chink Therefore I Am! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20106845)

I chink he made a breakthrough after all!

Simple language version (5, Informative)

SwiftOne (11497) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107071)

Disclaimer: I'm no scientist, and I only skimmed the paper, but I have an interest in genetics and an interest in seeing this better covered than the mass media is doing. Corrections most welcome.

I'm shooting for the non-geneticist version:

Basic Version:
a normal human cell has 2 copies of 22 non-sex chromosomes, and 2 sex chromosomes. The "copies" are almost certainly NOT identical to one another, but basically similar. These cells are "diploid" (having 2 of each chromosome) and are considered "somatic cells".

During normal reproduction, each person will contribute a "germline cell", an ova or a sperm, in which only 1 copy of each chromosome exists ("haploid"). These germline cells merge to create a "zygote" (which is diploid), which eventually becomes an embryo.

Parthenogenetic reproduction takes a germline cell, and duplicates the genetic material, making a diploid out of a haploid. Such replication happens with normal cells during the process of cell division ("mitosis"), so the real trick is (1) convincing the cell to do this duplication outside the cell division process and (2) convincing the cell that it is no longer a differentiated (specialized) cell, but instead a stem cell.

One interesting result here is that the parthenogenetic cell is NOT a clone of the parent cell - it will have two copies each of ONE of the copies of each chromosome from the parent, determined effectively at random. In some ways this means a parthenogenetic stem cell is less valuable than a cloned stem cell - it will not be a 100% match, though it will not contain any DNA foreign to the donor. In other ways it opens up all sorts of new areas of study.

One particular result is that it opens the opportunity for recessives to be studied. (Chromosomes have genes, each that code various proteins that run the bodies mechanics. Most people will therefore have two copies of every gene (having two copies of the chromosomes). Those genes may not be identical. Some genes only have their effects seen ("express") if there isn't another, different, copy of the gene present, and are called recessives. (blue eyes are a common example: A blue-eyed person has both genes as expressing "blue". Two blue eyed parents, having only the "blue" gene (hah!) to pass on to a child, will have a blue-eyed child (barring mutation). (Of course, the body is a big nasty mess of self-referencing code with lots of gotos, so examples tend to be oversimplified). Anyway, most recessives tend to be fairly rare in expressing, since any dominant gene will cover them up. Many recessives are bad. (Cystic Fibrosis is the most common example: 1 bad gene, okay. 2 bad genes: You die) A parthenogenetic process would allow for the study of recessives because you can take ova from a carrier (someone who has 1 copy of the bad gene), find one with the defective gene, put it through the parthenogenesis process, and bam, able to study the effects free of the presence of any other (different) copy of the gene.

Fun Fact: For 22 Chromosomes, people have two copies of most genes. Sex Chromosomes are not created equal. The X chromosome (every human has 1) has valuable and nifty genes. The Y chromosome (only in men) has very few genes (relatively). As a result, on Men X chromosomes express all recessives, and not on women. (The common example here is red-green colorblindness. Men with a defective gene are out of luck: Color-blind. Women with a defective gene get by if the other copy of the X chromosome has a functioning one. Result: Men are much more likely to be red-green color-blind.
Some papers a few months ago got some press for exploring the possible effects of this. (Men can serve as a "testing ground" for new mutations on the X chromosome, while women can serve as a judge of whether they are valuable without taking on the extra risk. Practiced through natural selection.)

Fun Fact #2: Women's cells don't just function with twice the number of X chromosomes though (We tend to react poorly to extra copies of chromosomes - Down Syndrome is an extra copy of the 21st chromosome, and one of the few such conditions that isn't usually fatal to the embryo). In each cell, one copy of the X will fold up and be largely non-functional. In each cell exactly WHICH copy folds up is essentially random, so women retain their diversity of X chromosome genes. Neat, huh?

Re:Simple language version (1)

WGFELyL5 (989566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107623)

I especially like fun fact #2.
Thanks for the post.

Not those jaycees (1)

pr10n (309803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20107115)

To paraphrase Fredric Brown, "This breakthrough will result in the birth of thousands of JCs."

I thank you for your Time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20107449)

a fact: FrreBSD at this point [samag.com] inV the
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