January 15, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

小保方晴子

2 min read

Now that it appears that the authors have all consented to eventually have both of their STAP cell Nature papers retracted, what’s next for STAP? Who knows, but below is my attempt at a top 10 list of STAP predictions looking ahead. I hope I’m wrong about several of them. 10. No insight will come from Nature on the STAP review or editorial process and there will be no indication from them that anything went wrong at their level.  I predict the journal will …Read More

2 min read

Japanese news media are reporting that Haruko Obokata and other key authors have agreed to retract the Nature STAP cell letter, but not the Nature article. This is a major development and a peculiar one because to many in the  field it is the Nature STAP cell article that is the more flawed of the two Nature papers on STAP. Why would Obokata and her colleagues agree to retract the STAP letter from Nature, especially after for so long categorically rejecting the idea? I suspect they are under pressure from other …Read More

3 min read

Two stem cell papers riddled with errors, with figures that resulted from potential misconduct, with plagiarism, and with other serious problems remain uncorrected and unretracted in the prestigious journal Nature. It is well past time for the journal to editorially retract them. It was about four months ago that Nature published the two astonishing STAP papers reporting the supposed creation of super-powerful stem cells (known variously as STAP cells or STAP stem cells) via simple methods such as weak acid treatment. Since their publication, it’s been all …Read More

4 min read

What next for STAP? Is retraction of the two papers on the near horizon? It has been two months now since Nature published the two papers on STAP cells and STAP stem cells. There has been a storm of controversy surrounding these papers and the claims they made to easily produce the most powerful of stem cells with simple stresses such as a exposure to a weak acid bath. To my knowledge no one independent of the STAP groups themselves has gotten this technology …Read More

3 min read

I don’t really hear from almost anyone who fully believes in the STAP cell thing anymore. The most common thing I do hear is from people assuming STAP is largely or entirely wrong and asking, “what really happened?” There’s still a chance that STAP is real, but if I were in Vegas or at the race track I’d put the odds in the single digits at this point. Betting on STAP to be entirely true today would be akin to wagering on a 100-1 …Read More

2 min read

Dr. Ken Lee’s lab has done some very important validation attempts on STAP cells and has posted them on ResearchGate. To my knowledge, his lab’s STAP experiments are the ones in the public domain that most closely matched the methods of the Nature STAP papers. Dr. Lee submitted the work to Nature Brief Communications Arising on STAP cells, but sadly the manuscript was rejected by Nature. Dr. Lee sent me a copy of the rejection letter from Nature and gave me permission to post …Read More

4 min read

The Vacanti Lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School has now posted online their own version of the STAP cell production protocol. The thing that first struck me most strongly about this published protocol is that it is not the same protocol reported in the Nature papers and it also is not the same as the recently posted RIKEN STAP protocol. What the heck? Given that the two STAP papers were just published 7 weeks in Nature, how can there already be so …Read More

1 min read

Dr. Charles Vacanti is scheduled as a special guest speaker on April 1 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He’ll be speaking on STAP cells. See image below of the announcement. The title of his talk is “Tissue Engineering and STAP Cells”. It is part of the Brigham and Women’s “Leaders in Regenerative Medicine Seminar Series”. Online registration is required to attend. (hat tip to blog reader) Anyone planning to go and possibly interested in a guest blogging gig on the seminar? In principle based on the …Read More

3 min read

What is Harvard’s role in the STAP cell mess? If you have been living in a cave somewhere for the last 6 weeks, to catch you up to speed, an international collaborative team published two papers in Nature reporting the creation of powerful stem cells–so-called STAP stem cells–via a simple method of stressing ordinary differentiated cells out such as by dipping them in a weak acid solution. But other stresses supposedly could simply promote this alchemy-esque transformation as well. The report was incredibly exciting …Read More