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Questions raised about new method for making stem cells

Two papers published in January showed that stress could reprogram cells to become a new type of stem cell called STAP cells (shown in green) that were used to grow an entire mouse fetus.  The research is now under investigation.

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Guest post by Lila Guterman

Research reports in late January garnered attention for showing that making stem cells just required dipping adult cells in acid (SN: 2/22/14, p. 6). But Japan’s RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, where the lead scientist works, has begun an investigation of the findings, according to reports in Nature, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

The reported investigation comes after online commenters discovered potentially manipulated images in the two papers published in the Jan. 30 Nature, and several scientists have had difficulty replicating the work.

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