July 12, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

stap vacanti

3 min read

What is Harvard’s role in the STAP cell mess? If you have been living in a cave somewhere for the last 6 weeks, to catch you up to speed, an international collaborative team published two papers in Nature reporting the creation of powerful stem cells–so-called STAP stem cells–via a simple method of stressing ordinary differentiated cells out such as by dipping them in a weak acid solution. But other stresses supposedly could simply promote this alchemy-esque transformation as well. The report was incredibly exciting …Read More

3 min read

The controversial STAP stem cell papers published in Nature had authors both from RIKEN in Japan and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard. What is the RIKEN interim take on the STAP cell situation? We’ve had pretty much silence from Harvard itself on this matter publicly. Dr. Charles Vacanti, senior author on one of the STAP papers, author on the other paper, and mentor of the first author on both papers, Dr. Haruko Obokata, has, however, been openly talking to the press. He continues to defend …Read More

4 min read

A host of problems have emerged related to the two Nature papers on STAP cells and other publications by some of the same authors. It’s only been just shy of 6 weeks since these papers came out, but doesn’t it feel like about 5 years? Where will this all end? (update in 2020: closer to the final ending, here’s a post you might find interesting: Whatever happened to the STAP cell scientists including Haruko Obokata?) Let’s first think about where it began and where …Read More

4 min read

A small group of the STAP authors via RIKEN have now released a detailed protocol also available at Nature Protocol Exchange for making STAP stem cells entitled “Essential technical tips for STAP cell conversion culture from somatic cells”. This comes about 5 weeks after publication of their Nature STAP stem cell papers. 2020 update: With the 4th and perhaps final Obokata paper retraction this year, is the STAP saga finally over? Drs. Obokata, Sasai, and Niwa have added more detail to this protocol compared to the methods …Read More