October 20, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Excerpts of BioSciTech STAP article

STAP stem cellsThe STAP stem cell saga is like something out of a soap opera.

Maybe we should call it “As the Stem Cell World Turns”. See the little green STAP spheres at right and imagine them turning like little worlds.

One of the best pieces I’ve read on STAP was today’s article by Cynthia Fox at BioscienceTechnology.

It is balanced and nicely captures the craziness of the current STAP stem cell situation with some unique quotes.

Below I’ve put my top 5 favorite, most surprising quotes and elements from that story.

  • 5. “Even Teru Wakayama, a co-author on the Nature reprogramming papers that stunned the stem cell world this month, says he can’t reach the first author on both: Haruko Obokata.” How can Obokata not be available to Dr. Wakayama?
  • 4. “Lab after lab, worldwide, began giving acid cocktails to their cells.” I almost imagine itsy bitsy Martini glasses being handed out in tissue culture hoods around the globe to cells. Acidtini anyone?
  • 3. Quoting Wakayama “Even me: I succeeded in this work at Riken, but I have not been able to in my new lab. That is puzzling and is understandably frustrating.
  • 2. Dr. Vacanti: “I think I should just go to vacation in Mexico for several weeks,”  Yeah, I don’t blame him for that sentiment.
  • 1. And again Dr. Wakayama  “I do not doubt that someone, someday, will reproduce this.”  I hate to say it, but not a very encouraging quote.

What’s next for STAP stem cells? Almost nothing would surprise me at this point.

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