Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子) launches new website with STAP claims

Image courtesy of Dr. Bob Geller from Nikkan Gendai (on sale April 1, official date April 2)

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.

The website, STAP Hope Page, seems to often not work now, but you can also see it here via Wayback Machine.

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
Haruko Obokata”

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.

8 thoughts on “Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子) launches new website with STAP claims”

  1. Dear RR,

    [About A result of“my and Riken’s investigation”]

    Yesterday(2016/5/23 16:42 JST), I published a document on SNS (Facebook). Today , another person published it on Twitter.

    The document, I requested an investigation to RIKEN in April, the result is the official answer document.

    The result of Figure “aggregate QPCR(GOF-spleen)”

    The result of Typical Result Pictures(Obokata says that these photos were taken during the STAP verification experiment in Riken CDB.)

  2. Dear Professor Dr. Knoepfler

    I have been taking supportive position for Ms. Obokata by writing the comments of her side.
    I feel so much anger and sorrow about the event because she has been treated UNFAIRLY.

    In fact, she did sinful things as a scientist, and it might be almost impossible to recover her own reputation as a career.

    But I would say in the sense of fairness.
    “If you cast suspicious eyes to one person, it should be done to all person related, also.”
    “Environment around them should be taken into consideration before criticizing an individual.”

    “Fairness”, ”Equality”
    These are crucial words in a SOCIETY, same as “Ethics” in science.
    Most scientists may not like them, but I personally think it is time to reconsider the importance of them.
    Otherwise, same tragedy will happen again.

    I do not want to make this issue -or myself- too much ideological, but I hope this notion involved slightly, to make the society better.

    This is the opinion from non-scientist.


  3. Dear Takeyoshi-san.

    People here will not trust “my and Riken’s investigation”.

    Most Japanese might think they – “Figure and pictures” – were thrown away intentionally or unintentionally, as it used to be done.

    Of course, nobody knows the truth.
    But people gradually realize which side is trustworthy after her publishing the book and launching the home page, as you can see the Amazon reviews.

    Whatever motivates you, it is so sad to see such kind of thoughtless comment.

  4. Figure “aggregate QPCR(GOF-spleen)”

    Typical Result Pictures(Obokata says that these photos were taken during the STAP verification experiment in Riken CDB.)

    As a result of my and Riken’s investigation these figure and pictures of Obokata website don’t exist in Riken.
    It is suspected that she fabricated these evidence.

    The contents of her home page can’t and shouldn’t be trusted .

  5. If she is so sure I’m sure she could find a lab in the world that would employ her and let her perform her protocol. To say you are ‘not allowed’ but others should is like saying you found golden tablets with the meaning of life but you’re not allowed to show anyone…

  6. Not that STAP cell was exceptional since it was supposedly created with a completely differentiated, not-likely-to-revert-to-undifferentiated mouse T-cell line.
    To achieve that, she “coducted the experiment over 200 times” in two yars, from the resuts of which she only needed TWO lab notebooks.
    Now she builds, uploads and publish a website “Revealing” her methodology in the hope that someone will succeed in producing STAP cells…
    Note that she states she “is in a state of depression”, as though she is granting herself an excuse to bring STAP cells back to the public.

    By the way, the success of her book might have given her the drive to expose herself fo the more.

  7. Stress factors are important for maintaining survival and generating drug resistance in cancer cells, including cancer stem cells. Is it not possible that Obukata generated immortalized or even quasi-transformed lines with high levels of stress proteins, such as heat shock proteins? Would such cells pass the tests she did to confirm pluripotency?

  8. What do YOU think, Mr Knoepfler? Have you tried it on your own, and if so, have you seen at least a small resemblance to the (hopeful) results described by Obokata and Vacanti?

    Do you think that physical stress ever translates into expression of pluripotency? Do you think stress signaling could induce potency through secondary, immune agents?

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