July 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


1 min read

Sometimes a situation is so bad or stressful that it just calls out for some comic relief. STAP seems to be one of those. Below are various silly attempts at STAP humor to hopefully release some of that stress. Some doodling of hypothetical Dr. Bob and Dr. Sue trying to replicate STAP in a lab and being super stressed with a surprising consequence… Other names for STAP stem cells? Some said we should call them “SWAP cells” because of the image mixups. Instead of …Read More

2 min read

A RIKEN committee has rejected an appeal by Dr. Haruko Obokata regarding its finding of research misconduct related to two papers in Nature claiming the production of so-called STAP cells and STAP stem cells. Earlier the committee had ruled that Obokata had allegedly engaged in misconduct and that there problems with the research. Obokata appealed this ruling on April 8 and now the committee has rejected her appeal. The results of their deliberations were summarized succinctly thusly: The committee, taking into account the points …Read More

3 min read

A paper has been published reporting that repeated attempts to make so-called “acid bath stem cells” have failed. At the end of January it was claimed in two Nature papers that a mild acid treatment created pluripotent or even totipotent stem cells that that the authors termed “STAP cells” or “STAP stem cells” (collectively referred to here as “STAP cells” in this post). I reviewed the papers here on the blog when they came out and raised key questions about them. Since that time …Read More

2 min read

Whether STAP cells are real or baloney, much went wrong with the actual STAP cell Nature papers and the research reported in them by Obokata and her co-authors. Who is responsible for these two deeply flawed papers? I’m not sure we have enough information at this time to know definitively how responsibility/blame should be apportioned, but first author Dr. Haruko Obokata has so far received the lion’s share of the blame. Is that just? Her institution RIKEN seems to be placing almost all of the …Read More