STAP cells: A co-author of the study asks for the results to be withdrawn

Publié le : 14 March 2014

 In the 30 January edition of the scientific journal, Nature, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Haruko Obokata at the Riken Centre (Kobé), announced the discovery of a new method for obtaining pluripotent stem cells – STAP (Gènéthique press review on January 27th, 2014) 

However, over the last few weeks, doubt has been cast over this discovery and one of the  Japanese co-authors of the study,Teruhiko Wakayama, from the University of Yamanashi, has asked for the study results to be withdrawn from publication due to data collation errors. He is contesting two articles published in the Nature journal, highlighting the work carried out with scientist Haruko Obokata and American scientists from Harvard (Boston). 

On Monday, 10 March, on the Nippon Television channel, scientist Teruhiko Wakayama made the following announcement: "‘It is difficult to believe in these results given the number of errors in the data’ on which they are based". 

Although the method was presented as straightforward, "scientists […] wanted to reproduce the results from indications in the Nature articles [but] have not been successful so far". To date, only the Riken and Harvard scientists have managed to generate STAP cells.      
Several scientists also contest "irregularities in the use of images in the Nature articles". 

The Nature journal has announced that it will be carrying out its own independent enquiry into the results, just like the public Japanese institute, Riken, which financed the studies. 

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