Japanese scientist to retract stem cell papers

Jun 04, 2014
Haruko Obokata (L), a researcher at Japan's Riken Institute, bows as she apologises at a press conference in Osaka on April 9, 2014

A Japanese stem cell scientist accused of fabricating research has agreed to retract papers published in the respected journal Nature, an official said Wednesday.

Haruko Obokata, 30, would withdraw two papers at the centre of the controversy, according to a spokeswoman for Riken, the respected that sponsored the study, marking a steep fall from grace for the young researcher.

"We confirmed that she agreed to retract both articles," the spokeswoman said.

She added that Riken was "still discussing" a retraction with co-author Charles Vacanti of Harvard University.

Obokata was feted after unveiling findings that appeared to show a straightforward way to re-programme adult cells to become —precursors that are capable of developing into any other cell in the human body.

Identifying a readily manufacturable supply of stem cells could one day help meet a need for transplant tissues, or even whole organs, meaning that any advance in the field is usually met with excitement in the scientific community.

The study was front-page news in Japan, but within weeks of Obokata's paper on so-called Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) being published, questions began to emerge, with fellow scientists saying they could not replicate her results.

Riken had urged the scientist to withdraw her two papers, after concluding that she fabricated at least some of the data.

Explore further: Japan scientist to retract one stem cell paper

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japan scientist to retract one stem cell paper

May 29, 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 Thursd ...

Japan stem cell body splashes cash on luxury furniture

Apr 14, 2014

A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up ...

Recommended for you

Fighting bacteria—with viruses

Jul 24, 2014

Research published today in PLOS Pathogens reveals how viruses called bacteriophages destroy the bacterium Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which is becoming a serious problem in hospitals and healthcare institutes, due to its re ...

Atomic structure of key muscle component revealed

Jul 24, 2014

Actin is the most abundant protein in the body, and when you look more closely at its fundamental role in life, it's easy to see why. It is the basis of most movement in the body, and all cells and components ...

Brand new technology detects probiotic organisms in food

Jul 23, 2014

In the food industr, ity is very important to ensure the quality and safety of products consumed by the population to improve their properties and reduce foodborne illness. Therefore, a team of Mexican researchers ...

Protein evolution follows a modular principle

Jul 23, 2014

Proteins impart shape and stability to cells, drive metabolic processes and transmit signals. To perform these manifold tasks, they fold into complex three-dimensional shapes. Scientists at the Max Planck ...

User comments : 0