Investigation finds new form of flexible cells were really embryonic stem cells
The discredited stem cells known as STAP cells were ultraflexible because they were really embryonic stem cells, a new report contends.
Last January, researchers claimed in two papers published in Nature that they had made stem cells by briefly dipping adult cells in a dilute acid bath or by giving the cells a squeeze (SN: 2/22/14, p. 6). The research was soon called into question, and an investigation by RIKEN, the Japanese research institute where much of the work was done, found lead author Haruko Obokata guilty of manipulating images and plagiarizing parts of the text. The papers were retracted in July (SN: 7/26/14, p. 7).