When South Korean researcher Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk revealed in 2004 that he and his team had successfully cloned a human embryonic stem cell, the scientific community was taken aback. The following year, after disclosing his accomplishment in isolating 11 human embryonic stem cells from 185 human eggs, he also achieved a new milestone. David Cyranoski, a science writer, contacted Dr. Hwang at that time but soon learned that the researcher had broken multiple bioethical rules while conducting the study. Let’s find out where David Cyranoski is right now while keeping in mind that the Netflix documentary “King of Clones” details how David’s piece sparked an investigation into Dr. Hwang’s work and resulted in his incarceration.
Where Is David Cyranoski Now?
Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk gained notoriety by asserting to have successfully cloned a dairy cow in February 1999, but when he declared his accomplishment in developing a human embryonic stem cell in February 2004, people started applauding him as a pioneer of stem cell research. In order to explore the discovery, David Cyranoski, who was at the time serving as the Asia-Pacific reporter for the Science Journal Nature, sought out an interview with Dr. Hwang. But when David started probing the South Korean researcher’s strategy for acquiring the human eggs, Dr. Hwang gave evasive responses and seemed to be concealing something.
David contacted a number of the research team members before a female research assistant came forward and said she had agreed to donate her eggs for the study. Further examination, however, revealed that Dr. Hwang had requested that every single female researcher working for him sign the consent papers. Although everyone did so without objection, none of them made it clear that they were happy with the procedure. So, armed with sufficient proof to charge Dr. Hwang with breaking bioethical laws, David Cyranoski made it all public in an essay in May 2004.
Dr. Hwang advanced his research in May 2005, nearly a year after the publication of the article, when he created 11 different types of human embryonic stem cells using only 185 human eggs. But in November of that same year, he admitted that some of David’s allegations were true because the majority of the human eggs were from his understudies or the grey market. As a result, Dr. Hwang’s research was the subject of an extensive inquiry. In 2009, the South Korean researcher was found guilty of bioethical violations and embezzlement and received a 2-year prison term with a suspension.
Meanwhile, David Cyranoski became well-known thanks to his exposé, and the scientific community acknowledged him as the reporter who exposed Dr. Hwang’s malpractices. It’s interesting to note that David held the position of Nature Magazine’s Asia-Pacific correspondent up to 2021 before deciding to try his hand at research. As a result, he currently resides in Kyoto, Japan, where he works at the ASHBi Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Biology at Kyoto University. Additionally, David occasionally contributes to prestigious journals like The New York Times while his current research focuses on the history of science and how the field affects society.
Being a binge-watcher himself, finding Content to write about comes naturally to Divesh. From Anime to Trending Netflix Series and Celebrity News, he covers every detail and always find the right sources for his research.