January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Search Results for: stap cells

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

1 min read

Haruko Obokata reportedtly has written a book that is somewhat of a memoir of her life including the STAP cell scandal. The exact nature of the book remains mostly a mystery at this point. It should be out on the 2nd anniversary of the STAP cell papers being published. Kyodo News gives some more details now: “The 253-page book, titled “Anohi” (That Day), will hit the bookstore shelves Thursday. It will be the first time she has offered a lengthy explanation on the issue …Read More

6 min read

Today marks nearing the completion of a full circle for one of science’s biggest controversies: the STAP cell fiasco. Today STAP cells are completely refuted with the publication of two new papers in Nature and we know much more–with some notable gaps still–about what went wrong. In January of last year, an international team of collaborators from RIKEN in Japan and Harvard/Brigham & Women’s Hospital (including the lab of Charles Vacanti where the STAP idea reportedly originated) here in the US published two Nature …Read More

1 min read

Signaling a nightmare ending to what was originally a fairy tale scientific story, the Japanese press (e.g. here) are reporting that Haruko Obokata has herself been unable to make STAP cells again as part of a RIKEN team testing STAP under watchful supervision. In advance of a scheduled RIKEN press conference tomorrow, newspapers including Asahi Shimbun are reporting now that RIKEN will announce STAP was not replicated even with the involvement of Obokata. Earlier this year RIKEN had said their internal investigation had found Obokata committed …Read More

3 min read

The STAP cell mess that began in January of this year has in some ways quieted down. In a broader sense, I believe that STAP is now and will be in the future viewed as a scandal that revealed some less than ideal aspects to the world of biomedical science and publishing. Where does this all stand today? A New STAP-Like Paper? The most recent development is the publication of a new paper pointed out by a number of people to me as perhaps STAP-like. …Read More

3 min read

A new patent has been awarded to James Sherley for a very unusual method claimed for making induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The patent, No. 8,759,098, claims that a single non-genetic chemical agent, xanthine, can by itself reprogram adult stem cells (ASC) into iPS cells (aka iPSCs; see image they released at left). Surprising patent, huh? Another notable element to this patent story is the identity of the patentee: Dr. James L. Sherley. Sherley fought a court battle (Sherley v Sebelius) with the Obama administration seeking to ban all …Read More

1 min read

What’s the biggest stem cell story of the year so far? I did a poll asking just that and the result so far overwhelmingly indicate that respondents believe the STAP cell scandal to be the top stem cell story of 2014 about half way through the year. You can see the results from the 210+ respondents so far above. In 2nd place is SCNT-based human therapeutic cloning followed by young blood reversing aging.    

2 min read

For more than 3 months I’ve been doing a tracking poll on the sentiments of the readers of this blog about STAP stem cells. The question is “Do you believe in STAP Stem Cells?” The result are summarized in the graph above. The latest poll results from period #9 are somewhat of a surprise. The overall trend for Poll #9 on STAP stem cells would seem to indicate a significant shift toward a more positive view, at least for the category “Close Yes”, meaning …Read More

1 min read

Since the STAP Nature papers were published, I’ve been doing a non-scientific Internet poll on the general level of “belief” in STAP. Poll #7 has now closed with 930 votes and a fairly steady level of skepticism for the last month or so. Poll#7 results from amongst Japanese respondents (7J) shows almost nobody in Japan has any positive feelings about STAP anymore. Note that at the beginning of polling, Japanese respondents were disproportionately more positive about STAP. Poll #8 will start soon. It’ll be …Read More