Japan scientist to retract one stem cell paper

May 29, 2014
Haruko Obokata, a researcher at Japan's Riken Institute, speaks at a press conference in Osaka on April 9, 2014

A Japanese stem cell scientist, under pressure over inconsistencies in her groundbreaking research, has agreed to retract one of the two papers published in the respected journal Nature, reports said Thursday.

Haruko Obokata, 30, was feted after unveiling research that appeared to show a straightforward way to re-programme adult cells to become a kind of stem cell.

Stem cells are precursors that are capable of developing into any other cell in the human body, and a readily manufacturable supply of them could one day help meet a need for transplant tissues, or even whole organs.

But within weeks of her paper on so-called Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells being published, questions began to emerge, with fellow scientists saying they could not replicate her results.

Riken, the respected research institute that sponsored the study, has urged her to withdraw her two papers, after concluding that she fabricated at least some of the data.

Obokata has agreed with her co-authors to a partial retraction, saying: "I don't oppose withdrawing one of the" papers, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, Kyodo News and other media.

But her lawyer said that she won't withdraw the main paper, and insists she successfully created STAP cells on several occasions.

The paper to be withdrawn noted the versatility of the cells, while the other paper summed up the ' characteristics and method of making them.

Immediate confirmation of the news reports were not available.

Explore further: Japan institute rejects 'phoney' research scientist appeal

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Game changing' Japan stem-cell study questioned

Feb 19, 2014

A Japanese research institute Tuesday said it was probing its own study that promised a 'game changer' way to create stem cells, a feat hailed as revolutionary for the fast-developing field. ...

Image anomalies cast shadow on acid-bath stem-cell study

Feb 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Japanese research center RIKEN has opened an investigation, Nature is reporting, related to reports of anomalies with images published in the same journal as part of a paper on a revolutionary approa ...

Recommended for you

Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate

Jul 30, 2014

Embryonic stem cells can develop into a multitude of cells types. Researchers would like to understand how to channel that development into the specific types of mature cells that make up the organs and other structures of ...

Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

Jul 29, 2014

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated – a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jaeherys
5 / 5 (1) May 29, 2014
We need more people like her to stick to her guns! A breakthrough as big as this must be explored in every detail as this could seriously impact the future of ex vivo tissues and stem cell treatments of disease.

The utter amount of confidence some people have in their own opinion is astounding sometimes. Just because this works in some cells does not mean it will work in every cell or even in every lab. Things as simple as water pH differences between lab supplies can make things not work, like PCR for example. People are way too dismissive and its quite disheartening.
Pejico
May 29, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.