Japan's top research body on Tuesday accused the lead writer of stem cell papers hailed as a game-changer in the field of medical biology of misconduct involving fabrication, but the scientist called the findings unacceptable.
Two papers published in the scientific journal Nature in January detailed simple ways to reprogram mature animal cells back to an embryonic-like state, allowing them to generate many types of tissues.
Such a step would offer hope for a simpler way to replace damaged cells or grow new organs in humans.
But reports have since pointed out irregularities in data and images used in the papers, prompting RIKEN, a semi-governmental research institute and employer of the lead writer, to set up a panel to look into the matter.
The panel said, for example, that one of the articles reused images related to lead writer Haruko Obokata's doctoral dissertation, which was on different experiments.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Now RIKEN is investigating possible scientific fraud in the STAP papers.