January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Bidirectional developmental potential in reprogrammed cells with acquired pluripotency.

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

2 min read

When I asked the readers of this blog what they felt was the biggest stem cell story of 2014 in a poll, they overwhelmingly picked the STAP cell scandal. For background on STAP you can toggle through the many STAP cell pieces on this blog here, see a STAP timeline, and a STAP image gallery. Basically, STAP was a bogus scientific claim about a supposedly simple reprogramming method to make powerful stem cells induced by cellular stress. Despite many flaws in this STAP research and the …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

2 min read

The reviews of a STAP paper submitted to and rejected by the journal Science in 2012 were posted at Retraction Watch yesterday. They filled in some gaps in the puzzle of the series of events that led to such flawed science being published in Nature in January 2014, but the reviews also raised more questions. Today, more STAP paper reviews have surfaced. ScienceInsider posted a piece with additional STAP paper reviews with these coming from Nature reviewers commenting on what would later become accepted and published by Nature only months later …Read More

4 min read

Before the two STAP cell papers were published in Nature in January of 2014, much of the same data was reportedly submitted as single papers to other high-profile journals including Science. In these cases, the proto-STAP papers as we might call them were rejected. But why? Until now we largely could only speculate. However, the reviews of the 2012 proto-STAP manuscript at Science can now be read at Retraction Watch. As a result of reading the Science reviews, today we know what the reviewers at Science thought …Read More

2 min read

Nikkei is reporting that the RIKEN internal attempt to replicate so-called STAP (acid bath) cells has failed. Update: apparently, although RIKEN calls the efforts preliminary, the team tried to make STAP an amazing 22 times and 22 times it failed. The rumors for weeks in the stem cell gapevine that RIKEN itself could not get STAP to work, even with the help of Dr. Haruko Obokata, have been confirmed by Nikkei. Obokata was first author on both Nature STAP papers, which were retracted. One of …Read More

3 min read

In some ways it’s hard to imagine that it was only just over 6 months ago that Nature published the two STAP papers by a collaborative team of Japanese and American researchers. It feels like years have gone by since then because so much has happened related to the STAP mess including the retraction of the papers and the tragic death of one of the STAP authors, Dr. Yoshiki Sasai, last week. Where does the STAP story go from here? Is it over? In …Read More

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