Artist’s rendition of a blue-green DNA double helix, viewed lengthwise from within one end.
Stem Cell Lines Riddled With Undetected Mutations
Most of the human induced pluripotent stem cells stored at major cell line repositories and used in research harbor thousands of DNA errors, a study finds, highlighting the need for improved quality control measures.
Stem Cell Lines Riddled With Undetected Mutations
Stem Cell Lines Riddled With Undetected Mutations

Most of the human induced pluripotent stem cells stored at major cell line repositories and used in research harbor thousands of DNA errors, a study finds, highlighting the need for improved quality control measures.

Most of the human induced pluripotent stem cells stored at major cell line repositories and used in research harbor thousands of DNA errors, a study finds, highlighting the need for improved quality control measures.

cell line
Artist’s 3D rendering of malignant cancer cells, illustrated in pink, as it would appear under a scanning electron microscope.
Underdog Enzyme Likely Responsible for Mutations in Most Cancers
Sophie Fessl | Jul 28, 2022
A previously overlooked enzyme called APOBEC3A is linked to the most prevalent mutational signatures in cancer cell lines, a study finds.
Hela cells colored in blue
Henrietta Lacks Estate Sues Thermo Fisher over HeLa Cell Line
Catherine Offord | Oct 4, 2021
Attorneys for the family seek compensation for the company’s sale of cells cloned from tissue removed without consent by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital 70 years ago.
Are your cell lines what you think they are?
Are Your Cell Lines What You Think They Are?
MilliporeSigma
Learn how to identify contamination and authenticate your cell lines.
Wellcome sanger institute genome campus closing animal mouse facility laboratory
Wellcome Sanger Institute to Close Animal Facility
Chia-Yi Hou | Jun 10, 2019
The move reflects scientists using more cell lines and organoids in genetic research, although some experts disagree with the decision to scale back the use of animal models.
HeLa Cells from Different Labs Vary in Genetics, Phenotype
Katarina Zimmer | Feb 26, 2019
This could account for some reproducibility problems in cell line research, according to the authors of a comprehensive analysis of HeLa variants.
Why might cells die or fail to thrive in culture?
Why Might Cells Die or Fail to Thrive in Culture?
MilliporeSigma
Learn more about cell culture best practices.
Scientists Raise Concerns About Revisions to Human Research Regulations
Katarina Zimmer | Feb 19, 2019
Authors of a new paper take issue with revisions to regulations on biospecimen research enacted last month, and argue that cell lines should be treated differently from other biospecimens.
Image of the Day: Eye-Opener
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jul 17, 2018
An open-source microscopy method can super-resolve live cells even under low lighting.
Roland Nardone, Advocate for Cell-Line Authentication, Dies
Kerry Grens | Jul 11, 2018
The Catholic University of America professor was also known for his summer workshops on the latest techniques.
One Way to Fix Reproducibility Problems: Train Scientists Better
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 28, 2017
Leonard Freedman, president of the Global Biological Standards Institute, discusses the causes of irreproducible science and his latest effort to spread best practices.
Papers Based on Misidentified Cell Lines Top 32,000
Kerry Grens | Oct 16, 2017
An analysis of contaminated literature finds that tens of thousands of papers used cell lines of questionable origins—and these were in turn cited by hundreds of thousands of other papers.
The Ever-Expanding T-Cell World: A Primer
Ashley P. Taylor | Aug 7, 2017
Researchers continue to identify new T-cell subtypes—and devise ways to use them to fight cancer. The Scientist attempts to catalog them all.
New Resource for Banked iPSCs
Aggie Mika | May 11, 2017
Researchers describe hundreds of induced pluripotent stem cell lines from healthy individuals. 
Cell Lines Gain Cancer-Related Mutations
Kerry Grens | Apr 27, 2017
A screen of human embryonic stem cell lines finds several that accumulated changes in the gene TP53, including aberrations commonly seen in cancer.
Henrietta Lacks’s Family Seeks Compensation
Kerry Grens | Feb 15, 2017
Family members of Lacks, the donor behind the widely used HeLa cell line, are planning to sue Johns Hopkins University.
Popular Tumor Cell Line Contaminated
Kerry Grens | Aug 31, 2016
A commercially available glioblastoma cell line appears to be from a different source than its stated origins.
Scientists Skip Cell Line Validation
Kerry Grens | Oct 12, 2015
Despite known problems with contamination and mislabeled cell lines, most researchers continue to operate without authenticating cells’ identity.
The Great Big Clean-Up
Kerry Grens | Sep 1, 2015
From tossing out cross-contaminated cell lines to flagging genomic misnomers, a push is on to tidy up biomedical research.
Seeded by Weeds
K. John Morrow Jr. | May 1, 2015
More than 50 years after cross-contamination of cultured cell lines was recognized, the problem continues to plague the scientific community.