August 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

STAP

2 min read

Retraction Watch broke the news that Haruko Obokata of the STAP cell train wreck now has a 4th paper retraction. The publication related to the controversial idea that adult tissues have pluripotent potential or actual pluripotent stem cells in them so it was kind of foundational for the debunked STAP cell idea. It also reminds me of VSELs and MUSE cells too, which people to this day still publish about without much attention. There could be some retractions related to VSELs and MUSE cells …Read More

3 min read

Once upon a time this blog and major outlets around the world were regularly writing about a Japanese stem cell researcher named Haruko Obokata (小保方 晴子). Whatever happened to Obokata and the other folks directly involved in STAP cell research? First, a bit of background because maybe still a few people never heard of STAP cells and Obokata or forgot the key points behind the controversy. Haruko Obokata became well known because of her research claiming to make pluripotent stem cells like IPS cells without …Read More

3 min read

2,000 is a big number. As of this week I’ve now published 2,000 posts here on The Niche since I started back in early 2010. I can’t quite believe it myself. To celebrate that milestone, I have revamped The Niche in terms of its organization and style with the help of a very skilled web developer. You might have noticed some of these changes around here. I hope you like them. The site should be speedier for one thing. We are also nearing another …Read More

2 min read

The publication yesterday of two papers refuting the existence of so-called STAP cells marches us closer as a field toward closure on this unfortunate situation. Close, but not quite there. We know a lot more about what went happened, but 5 key questions remain. There is a chance that we may never get answers to some or even all of these questions, but without more information STAP will remain not entirely resolved. It will be harder for the field to learn from it and …Read More