January 19, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Search Results for: stap

2 min read

Retraction Watch broke the news that Haruko Obokata of the STAP cell train wreck now has a 4th paper retraction. The publication related to the controversial idea that adult tissues have pluripotent potential or actual pluripotent stem cells in them so it was kind of foundational for the debunked STAP cell idea. It also reminds me of VSELs and MUSE cells too, which people to this day still publish about without much attention. There could be some retractions related to VSELs and MUSE cells …Read More

3 min read

Once upon a time this blog and major outlets around the world were regularly writing about a Japanese stem cell researcher named Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子). Whatever happened to Obokata and the other folks directly involved in STAP cell research? First, a bit of background because maybe still a few people never heard of STAP cells and Obokata or forgot the key points behind the controversy. Haruko Obokata became well known because of her research claiming to make pluripotent stem cells like IPS cells without …Read More

3 min read

Remember when the Piero Anversa situation first made news or at least when you first heard about it? In the public domain, it was back around April 2014. I didn’t even do a whole post on it, but rather it made two bullet points in a post about a set of bad overall news including the latest at the time on the growing mess from STAP cells.  However, clearly there were concerns about this Anversa thing well before 2014. What took so long? In my 2014 post here …Read More

3 min read

STAP is back? Really? No, I don’t believe so, but there’s an interesting development and twist on the STAP cell front. Just a few days ago on January 4, 2017 Dr. Charles Vacanti, the originator of the STAP cells concept, submitted a declaration to the USPTO affirming the belief that STAP cells are real and requesting that the patent office allow the rejected STAP patent application to be reconsidered. I find a number of aspects of this development notable: The declaration says they have generated new data …Read More

2 min read

Haruko Obokata is most well-known for her role as first author of the now retracted two STAP cell Nature papers. These manuscripts claimed to have made pluripotent and even totipotent stem cells simply by stressing cells out with acid treatment or in other ways. Nobody else could get this method to work to create the so-called STAP cells. It was an all around scientific disaster and I don’t know anyone who believes that STAP cells are real, but Obokata and another one of her mentors, …Read More

2 min read

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 …Read More

1 min read

Here are some cool science reads to enjoy this weekend. Lab-grown sperm made from stem cells can’t swim, but are able to fertilize eggs, reports Eric Boodman over at STAT. Mouse-human neural crest chimeras: Not only a matter of black and white. Clever title. Antonio Regalado writes about a DNA App Store coming soon to a smartphone near you. Jacob Corn has a new piece at the Washington Post entitled, CRISPR will change lives, but not only through genetic engineering. Obokata tallies retraction number three, RetractionWatch …Read More

4 min read

A great new piece in The New Yorker by Dana Goodyear, The Stress Test, gives us a window into Charles Vacanti’s side of the STAP cell mess and includes recent quotes from him. It’s a long, fascinating look inside of STAP, the tangled and ultimately tragic scientific implosion that created and then brought down two Nature papers and some careers. The most notable part of the article is that the stem cell community finally hears from Vacanti, postdoc mentor of lead author Haruko Obokata. We …Read More

2 min read

Haruko Obokata was reportedly questioned by police in Japan today. The questioning relates to the STAP cell scandal that led to the retraction of two Nature papers. As first author of the papers, Obokata and other authors had reported that they could make IPSC-like cells simply via acid or other stress treatment. However, it is now widely believed that the supposed STAP cells were in actuality ES cells (or ES cells mixed with other cell types), and there has been some question over whether …Read More