Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

STAP Cells Due to Contamination

A Riken panel reports that the cells supposedly returned to a pluripotent state using the now discredited stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) approach were actually derived from embryonic stem cell lines, according to ScienceInsider.

The Nature papers describing the approach were retracted in July, and Haruko Obokata, the lead author on the work, recently resigned after the technique couldn't be replicated. Another Riken panel had found her guilty of research misconduct, citing image manipulations and data re-use.

This report, ScienceInsider says, found that the STAP stem cells and the mice chimeras and teratomas that were purportedly derived from them actually came from cultures that contaminated with three different embryonic stem cell lines. The panel, ScienceInsider adds, used a combination of genetic analyses, reviews of lab notebooks and other documents, and interviews with involved researchers to come to its conclusions.

"It is unlikely that there was accidental contamination by three different ES cells, and it is suspected that the contamination may have occurred artificially," the report says.

The panel, however, did not place blame on any one researcher because it was unable to find conclusive proof that the contamination was done on purpose or who might've done it. 

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.