July 15, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


2 min read

RIKEN Institute in Japan has formally announced the complete findings of its investigation into the STAP cell research,  Haruko Obokata, and Nature papers. RIKEN almost entirely blamed Obokata for the STAP mess in this report and they didn’t mince words. The RIKEN report alleged that Obokata had engaged in two instances of “research misconduct” as discussed by Retraction Watch. Notably, the report addressed only six specific potential problematic issues when there are many more key areas of concern that it did not tackle. You know …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