Contaminants Could’ve Accounted for STAP

Embryonic stem cells likely mucked up the cultures used in the debunked “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” studies.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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Dec 29, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, KAIBARA87An investigation by RIKEN into the “stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency” (STAP) method of inducing pluripotency has found that cell cultures used in the original experiments were probably contaminated by embryonic stem cells. The conclusion follows on the heels of another RIKEN report indicating that an attempt to replicate the protocol had failed.

Nature News reported December 28 that “investigators found signs of three separate embryonic stem cell lines. They noted that it is difficult to imagine how contamination by three distinct lines could be accidental, but that they could also not be certain that it was intentional.”

The report, published December 26, went on to name Haruko Obokata, who was found previously to have committed scientific fraud, as responsible for manipulating two figures in one of the two STAP papers that were retracted just six months post-publication. According to the report: “We have been able to...

Hat tip: ScienceInsider

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Contaminants Could’ve Accounted for STAP

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