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Cloning cult offers job to disgraced scientist

Discredited cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk has a new job offer from a UFO cult that says it has produced six human clones.
South Korean stem-cell scientist Hwang gets ready to speak at a news conference in Seoul
Clonaid voices support for South Korean stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk, shown here during a recent news conference.Lee Jae- Won / Reuters file
/ Source: Reuters

South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-suk, a science superstar disgraced when his pioneering stem cell research was unmasked as a fraud, has a new job offer from a UFO cult that says it has produced six human clones.

Clonaid, a company linked to a group that believes humans were cloned from prehistoric alien visitors to Earth, said it had offered him a post in one of its laboratories.

The firm has never provided proof of the six clones it says it has produced, and does not reveal where the laboratories it says its has are located.

Hwang quit his post at Seoul National University in December after his claim to have cloned human embryonic stem cells, which could be used to treat diseases such as Parkinson's, was shown to have been faked.

"We at Clonaid believe that Dr. Hwang has cloned human embryos and has the knowledge to develop stem cell lines," the company said in a message posted on its Web site on Sunday.

Clonaid is linked to the Raelian Movement, whose leader Rael — a former French sports journalist named Claude Vorhilon — says cloning is the first step towards eternal life.

When it announced that its sixth cloned baby had been born in Sydney in 2004, Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott called the announcement "the medical equivalent of a UFO story."