The BBC is reporting that the Seoul National University investigative team has determined that Hwang Woo-suk's group did, indeed, fake their cloning results.
A slightly more dated story in Science magazine gives us some background:
Hwang said, "I want to make it really clear that our research team produced patient-specific (stem cells)." He acknowledged, however, that the team had problems with their cell lines. He said that last January, contamination with yeast had destroyed at least six of the lines the team had created. Based on Hwang's statement, it's not clear whether any of these original six lines were alive at the time the Science paper was submitted in March. The group was "lax in our management and committed many mistakes," said Hwang. He said they would thaw the five remaining cell lines to try to demonstrate that they match their donors, a process that Hwang said could take about 10 days.
Hwang also said that MizMedi [the hospital that collected ova for the work] might be responsible for mixing up cell lines from its own research with those used in the experiments that produced the Science paper, and he called for an investigation. Roh held an emotional press conference shortly thereafter in which he reportedly reiterated his claims and accused Hwang of lying.
Several of their paper figures were direct duplications of other images - I'm amazed that people ever do this. Though Science magazine is planning on testing all figures in the future for photomanipulation, the Science article accurately points out that the peer review process is not designed to detect outright falsification. This is true -- as a reviewer, you basically assume that the actual data being presented is not being faked. And the truth is, if it is fraudulent, it will come out. This is the most incomprehensible part about faking scientific work. If you're working on anything that's at all worthwhile, someone will try to build on your work and find out that you lied.
From the Science article:
George Daley, a member of the Harvard group, says it is too early to tell how flawed the 2005 report is. "Hwang's group was skilled enough to be capable of doing what they claimed," he says. "We'll see how much of the Hwang methodology proves useful when we and others attempt to incorporate it into our own work."
It looks like Hwang's work itself is bunk, but hopefully others can make it work. The scrutiny will definitely be there when the next results are announced.