Haruko Obokata, the Riken researcher whose work on generating stem cells is swirling in controversy, apologized for errors in her work, but stood by its conclusions, the Nature News Blog reports.
Obokata and her colleagues published a set of papers in Nature that indicated that embryonic-like stem cells could be produced through exposure to a strong stimulus such as an acid bath. An investigation by Riken, though, recently found evidence of research misconduct, concluding that two pictures of electrophroresis gels were spliced together and that data from Obokata's doctoral thesis had been reused.
At a press conference, Obokata apologized for the errors and said that they were not deliberate.
"More than anything, the experiments properly took place. As the data actually exists, I want to clarify that I did not create these papers with ill intent," she said, according to Reuters. The Associated Press adds that she attributes the errors to her inexperience and "limited abilities."
Obokata further said she was able to create STAP cells some 200 times.
She submitted a formal appeal to Riken to retract its findings; Riken has 50 days to respond, the Nature News Blog adds.