SEOUL, July 15 (UPI) -- Controversial South Korean stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk is at the center of another dispute, this time involving the cloning of mammoths.
Hwang, who successfully cloned an Afghan hound in 2005, had sought the help of another South Korean scientist, Park Se-pil of Jeju National University, on a project that involved replicating preserved mammoth cells found in Siberia, Yonhap reported on Wednesday.
Hwang's most recent project began in 2012 but after repeatedly failing to clone the mammoth cells he solicited Park's help earlier this year.
Park's team made progress on cell differentiation on the samples that Hwang provided, but Hwang is claiming exclusive rights to the experiments, The Korea Herald reported.
Hwang's plan was to clone the extinct Ice Age species using the preserved cells, by injecting a mammoth cell capable of differentiation into the ovum of a live elephant that had its own nucleus removed.
The scientists on his team estimate the implant would lead to a 22-month pregnancy.
The project, however, is stalled due to the dispute between Hwang and Park.
Park said his team should be jointly recognized. Sooam Biotech Research Foundation never set limits on the ownership of the research results, according to Park, and it was Park's team that reached the cell differentiation.
Hwang was charged and convicted of receiving South Korean funds for doctored research results in 2009.