July 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


2 min read

What were people saying about STAP cells at the ISSCR 2014 meeting? It was a tale of two meetings when it came to STAP at ISSCR. Officially, bigwigs at the podiums only briefly mentioned it and they seemed to collectively argue that STAP was something unfortunate, but that the bigger danger was the overreaction to it. Thus, remarkably their key concern seemed to be their perception of an overreaction to STAP rather than STAP itself. Outside the lecture halls in the other halls (between …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

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