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Japanese scientists to withdraw STAP cells reports

English.news.cn   2014-03-14 12:42:56

OSAKA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- A group of Japanese scientists who had earlier announced their discovery of a new method for creating pluripotent cells, which they call "STAP cells," are considering withdrawing the statement, local media outlets reported Friday.

There are several reasons, among which are allegations of the reports containing "manipulated" data, according to the report.

The group's leader, Haruko Obokata at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, western Japan, who had reportedly spent some time researching at Harvard University in the United States, announced that they discovered the method in mice by simply exposing body cells to acidic liquids. They named the resulting cells "stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency," or STAP cells.

But after her sensational announcement in front of cameras in Kobe, researchers all over the world have criticized her because they could not observe the production of cells through such a " simple" method by which the Riken group claimed it soaked lymph corpuscles taken from 7-day-old mice in acidic liquids and cultured them to transplant into mice, where they developed into nerve and muscle tissues, the reports said.

Other critics chimed in, saying that photographs and even sentences in the Riken report are identical to those used in earlier thesis, including one by a German team released years ago.

Riken has therefore established a third-party panel to investigate the content of the report and is planning to withdraw the claim about the scientific achievement, but an American professor working with Obokata has not consented to the decision, further delaying the official announcement on the withdrawal.

Riken will release an interim report in the afternoon at its head office in Tokyo.

Editor: An
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