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Sentence Upheld

A South Korean court has upheld the suspended sentence conferred on disgraced stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk, the Associated Press reports. In 2004 and 2005, Hwang and his colleagues claimed in a set of Science articles that they had cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells from them. Those articles have since been retracted due to misconduct and fabricated data.

Hwang was convicted in 2009 after a three-year trial for embezzlement, defrauding those who contributed funding to his work, and illegally buying human eggs. The court later sentenced him to a two-year suspended sentence. That sentence was upheld Thursday by the top South Korean court.

Still, the US Patent and Trademark Office recently awarded Hwang a patent for his disputed method for cloning human embryos and extracting stem cells from them.

In the past few years, Hwang has been working on cloning animals like dogs, pigs, and cows, as Nature recently reported.