Scientist urges withdrawal of his own 'breakthrough' stem cell research

By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Kate Kelland

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Gee, what a surprise. "Nature" originally rejected her research after raising serious concerns about it. What kind of pressure was this science magazine under to accept it later, one wonders?

I noticed Yomiuri has removed its article with the theme of "modest young Japanese woman takes on the arrogant Western-male dominated science establishment."

It's good to be a maverick, but come on.....

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

So, what are the odds on how long this goes until it gets swept under the rug as best as possible?

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And that's the sounds of the PR Tent pulling up it's stakes, everyone jumping off the bandwagon, and looking for the next cutie pie.

These scientists are brilliant I'm sure and probably just got swept up in the hype and enjoyed the 15-Seconds Fame Ride a little too much.

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Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem cell expert at Britain’s National Institute for Medical Research, cautioned against premature assumptions on whether the research was flawed.

“I have an open mind on this,” he told Reuters. “I’m waiting to hear from several serious stem cell labs around the world on whether they have been able to reproduce the methods.”

I know nothing about this branch of science but I tend to lean in the same direction. Obokata and colleagues come across as being quite genuine, as compared to the fraudster who was in the news over the weekend after his "apology" press conference.

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riken has repeatedly claimed that they stood behind the research data, and that the only problem was with the image data used during the presentation in january. it's also important to note that no "serious" stem cell lab has disproven STAP yet. like fsgai, i'm also gonna give her the benefit of the doubt.

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How does a mix up in image data end up with one of the academic authors wanting the study removed from publication? Not suggesting anything dodgy, but nobody else has produced these results so far. Moreover, there seem to be more questions than answers.

As others have already pointed out, RIKEN is sticking to its guns at the moment, but the mysteries surrounding this are growing deeper and deeper. Also, the national mouthpiece NHK needs to get a grip. They basically had this lass as a lock for a Nobel Prize and Sainthood last month, but it could all blow up in their face.

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lying and making up stuff in this field would have been the worst possible way to come out with 'breakthrough' stem cell research. You just know labs across the world are going to want to replicate and verify the results, so I seriously doubt they're going to put their profession and credibility on the line for a few months of fame. Given time it will be proven that it can be done and just requires very specific circumstances.

My take is i don't care about how to make stem cells (I already have the best you can get - cord blood), I'm interested in how to use the stem cells to cure diseases & cancer, mend body parts, everything from alzheimer's to muscular dystrophy...

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Hate to say it but I am not surprised this happened. A shame as I would've loved for a Japanese female researcher to get her day.

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Too soon and not enough information to judge. Scientists need to be able to fail. We all do. Wasn't it Edison who said when asked about his failures, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Of course, if it was their intention to mislead for whatever reason, that's another story. But, for now, I'll wait and see.

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There are so many scientists and researchers of this STAP cell in Japan and US. They seem to not get organized well for each other and so stupid mistakes might have happened on the way to the new discovery.

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Sounds like they jumped the gun. The results have to be confirmed, independently if possible. If the results can't be reproduced, it is worse than useless. There are labs trying to reciprocate the results and this all may be a was of time and money that could have be used more productively.

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I want to believe STAP cells can be made, because there are a lot of people who are waiting for an organ transplant. Organs could be created by the technology. If the technology didn't exist, patients would feel tremendously sad.

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Sue JonesMAR. 13, 2014 - 08:58PM JST

"I agree with davestrousers. It would be absolutely ridiculous for her to think that she could publish Nobel qualifying research without her background and the research being checked out. Either there is an explanation for all this, or she is a complete fool who has destroyed her future in science

Outright plagiarism--knowing all the way that you are not going to get away with it--makes publication in science journal Nature possible, which creates a nationwide frenzy, which, when combined with a news of a PATENT APPLICATION, jacks up stock prices, which makes some people rich.

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