October 24, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

STAP cells

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

5 min read

It seems hard to believe it was a year ago that the STAP cell Nature papers came out to much fanfare on January 29, 2014. These now discredited and retracted papers reported a supposed new method to easily make reprogrammed powerful stem cells, a finding touted as a Nobel Prize-worthy discovery. Now a year later on January 29, 2015 the STAP finding has been thoroughly repudiated,  one author Haruko Obokata has resigned after her own institute found her guilty of misconduct and she couldn’t make STAP …Read More

3 min read

The Japanese research institute RIKEN has come full circle in a way on the STAP cell scandal. Note that the STAP papers included not only authors from RIKEN, but also from Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. With its final report released today (also a powerpoint of images were released including the one showing a figure posted here of reportedly made up data published in a STAP paper), RIKEN seems to now have handled this complicated mess in a relatively rigorous, scientific manner that …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