July 3rd, 2014

Retraction Dissolves Credibility of Acid-Bath-Generated Stem Cells

Sadly, what seemed too good to be true now is: subjecting adult cells to an acid bath does not transform them into pluripotent stem cells, and the Nature papers reporting the effect have been retracted.

After initial excitement over the findings in January, a number of laboratories reported having trouble duplicating the results. Then in April, the RIKEN Center (where lead author Haruko Obokata did much of the work) conducted an investigation and accused her of “an act of research misconduct involving fabrication.”

A Nature editorial points out that after findings of manipulated photographs and plagiarized text, the papers’ co-authors concluded that they could not stand behind the results.

The editorial concludes with a plea for better behavior across the research enterprise, “to ensure that the money entrusted by governments is not squandered, and that citizens’ trust in science is not betrayed.”

One Response to “Retraction Dissolves Credibility of Acid-Bath-Generated Stem Cells”

  1. Mark Perlroth Mark, md says:

    The whole adventure is pathetic and probably related to some psychiatric unresolved issues.

    The greater fault is of the Scientific establishment, the university oversight and the NATURE editorial board to publish a paper with this dimension of importance without insisting on confirmation from an independent source. The sin is not unique to this journal, but for that very reason greater prudence should have been the watchword before publication.