July 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

小保方 晴子

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

1 min read

Media in Japan are reporting that Waseda University will shortly revoke the Ph.D. of STAP cell scientist Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子). A hat tip to blog reader Tom on this story. The thesis contained plagiarized material and problematic data as did the Nature papers on which she was first author. Those papers were retracted and now apparently her thesis will essentially find the same fate. Obokata had been given 1 year to correct her thesis, a potentially impossible task, and Japan TImes quotes a …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

2 min read

The Japanese public broadcasting system, NHK, has been accused by scientist Haruko Obokata of violating her human rights. Obokata was the primary researcher involved in the STAP cell fiasco in which two ultimately retracted Nature papers contained duplicated, plagiarized, and manipulated data. She was certainly not the only researcher on those papers, but overall she has been accused of having the most central role in the STAP problems. Obokata left RIKEN late in 2014. During the height of the STAP cell mess the Japanese …Read More