Even as the book of Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子) had been fading in popularity on Amazon Japan (update: it is now increasing again), there is some other news with her as she has launched a new website.
Hat tip to several readers and people on Twitter including Buvery and Bob Geller.
JIJI Press has confirmed that the site is real as some had speculated it might be a parody site. My impression just from reading it earlier today even before I knew about JIJI’s findings was that it felt real. I’m not sure why the site is now down.
JIJI has an interesting quote:
“On the site, Obokata, 32, says she hopes to help other scientists succeed in creating STAP cells.
According to her representative, lawyer Hideo Miki, Obokata sent him an email informing him of the establishment of the site a few days ago. In the message, she insisted that parts of the original STAP cell experiments she undertook were successful.”
The inclusion of the word “Hope” seems appropriate as I think she must be hoping that she still can redeem STAP even if only indirectly.
On the website are a number of things including more on her side of the STAP story (still hinting it seems at blaming Teru Wakayama) and even a STAP protocol. This protocol feels reminiscent of when Vacanti posted a new STAP protocol on the Brigham and Women’s website may 18 months or so back when no one else seemed to get it to work.
The Obokata website includes an apology for STAP. There is also some text on the announcement page related to her thesis:
“My Ph.D thesis that was reintroduced to Waseda University is still under advisement with relevant people about lawsuits or readmission to other universities.
While it is not clear what decision will be reached, it has been decided that the public opening of my Ph.D thesis is to be postponed for this reason.
I apologize in advance for this.
March 25, 2016
Her statement to end her homepage is this:
“I am unable to further continue my own STAP research. All I can do is to leave my recipe to create STAP cells here. My fervent hope is that someone will open the next door to the secrets of life. STAP phenomenon may be the key to the door. I believe that STAP phenomenon will prove to be a great contribution to humanity in the future.”
It seems at this point that Obokata and Vacanti both, despite having gone their separate ways, still to some extent believe in STAP based on what they’ve written or has been quoted from them recently.