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"Easy-to-Make" Stem Cells Researcher Accused of Misconduct — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 2, 2014

"Easy-to-Make" Stem Cells Researcher Accused of Misconduct

By Joe Elia

The first author on two Nature studies purporting to have shown a simpler way to convert somatic cells into stem cells has been accused of misconduct by a Japanese research institute, according to news reports.

The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, with which the author, Haruko Obokata, is affiliated, conducted an investigation into why other scientists have been unable to replicate the findings. While not judging the papers' conclusions, the panel pointed to irregularities, such as the use of images from different experiments, and concluded that "this was an act of research misconduct involving fabrication," Reuters reports.

Obokata said she was "filled with shock and indignation."

Meanwhile, Nature reports in a news story that two stem cell lines produced by the novel method actually came from strains of mice different from the one reportedly used.

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