Stem Cell Scam

The Riken Center for Developmental Biology investigates two STAP cell studies after various allegations and concerns

Studies done by researchers at Harvard University and the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, reported that the investigators had found a way to turn mature cells back into stem cells. Mature cells were exposed to chemicals that cause enough stress to the cell to then revert them back to stem cells called stress-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells.

In February the Riken Center was notified of concerns that two research papers on STAP cells published in the journal Nature showed research misconduct. The accusations made included concerns of fabricated photo evidence, plagiarism, differentiation of methods description and the actual procedure that was followed and misuse of photos.

The center put together a committee to investigate these claims, of which two out of six items were found to be instances of research misconduct—copying part of the methods section from another paper, and writing the methods section differently from the method actually used. As a result, Riken will take disciplinary actions on the researchers who are at fault and call for the papers to be retracted.

For more information, visit Read the full investigation report here (


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