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Nature retracts controversial stem cell papers

07-02-2014 13:16

Mouse embryo generated from STAP cells (Image: Riken)

Nature today published a retraction of two controversial papers that had reported a new, astoundingly simple way of generating pluripotent stem cells. The retraction notice—for an article and a letter written by Haruko Obokata of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe, Japan, and colleagues there, at other institutions in Japan, and at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School—had been expected for some time.

The two papers reporting the stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) phenomenon appeared online on 29 January. Questions about the papers arose almost immediately, leading to an investigation by RIKEN, the headquarters of the network of the nationally funded laboratories that is based in Wako near Tokyo. Investigators documented several instances of fabrication and falsification in the papers and concluded that some of these constituted research misconduct on the part of Obokata.
News comes from: SCIENCE INSIDER with the link: http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/07/nature-retracts-controversial-stem-cell-papers.

Haruko Okokata on Jan 28. Image: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

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