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
What’s up with STAP cells? Do people belief in them or not? Our STAP poll #8 polling results on STAP are in with more than 1000 respondents. The poll question was “Do you believe in STAP cells?” I will start STAP poll #9 soon. The poll #8 results remain about the same but there has been a slight shift toward more people indicating they are at least leaning positive. Again, recall that this polling is not scientific.
The ultimate fate of the two Nature STAP cell papers remains in troubled limbo. One of the senior STAP cell authors, Dr. Sasai, held a news conference yesterday in Japan that included a call for the papers to be retracted. He was variously quoted as believing in STAP cells or alternatively as just thinking it was an unproven hypothesis. Whether STAP cells or STAP stem cells are real or not, overall the STAP cell situation has been disastrous. Can biomedical science learn anything from this …Read More