Nature press statement dated Tuesday January 10 2006:
Nature welcomes the announcement by the inquiry organised by Seoul National University concluding that the Afghan hound Snuppy was indeed a clone, as reported in Nature (Nature 436, 641, 2005). Three weeks ago, as soon as it became clear that there was a strong possibility of fraud in some of the publications from Dr Hwang and colleagues, Nature commissioned Elaine Ostrander, at the National Human Genome Research Institute, in Bethesda Maryland USA, to conduct independent DNA tests on samples supplied by colleagues of Dr Hwang. The authenticity of the samples used was overseen by In Kwonchung Chung of Yonsei University, Korea, a member of the Investigative Committee at Seoul National University.
The tests conducted include DNA fingerprinting analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from blood samples of Snuppy, the dog who donated the nucleus, and unrelated Afghan hounds. We heard informally, late yesterday, that these tests are most consistent with Snuppy being a clone. We have as yet received no technical report or data. The data will be peer reviewed and hopefully published promptly, as well as an account of our review of our procedures in handling such papers. However we feel it in
everybody's best interests to confirm these preliminary indications of the outcome of our test.
Dr Ostrander will be available for press comment after 11 am EST on Tuesday. Heidi Parker, a co-author on the study, will be also be available for comment, after 8 am EST.
Geoff Spencer, Public Affairs Specialist, National Human Genome Research Institute
Tel: +1 301 451 8325, to arrange an interview.
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