Saturday, March 15, 2014

RIKEN holds press conference on March 14, 2014 re: charges against stem cell/STAP papers published in the journal Nature

In a post titled  RIKEN: No Misconduct Yet Found in Its Acid-Bath Stem Cell Investigation

in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News ["GEN"], officials at RIKEN asserted 
that the mistakes it has investigated thus far do not “constitute research misconduct.”

RIKEN held a press conference on Friday, March 14, 2014 to address issues with the two papers in Nature and therein stated that not all issues have been investigated, including the charge about (unattributed) use of images from Obokata's doctoral thesis:

“The image of differentiated cells for Figures 2d and 2e and the image of chimera mouse immunostaining data are incorrect, and in the process of the investigation, it was found that these images closely resemble images used by [lead author] Dr. Obokata in her doctoral dissertation.”

Also still being investigated are the following charges:

  • Paper 1: “In Figure 1i, lane 3 appears to have been inserted later.
  • Paper 1: “A part of the Methods section on karyotyping analysis
  •   appears to have been copied from another paper.”
  • Paper 1: “Some of the description of karyotyping in the Methods section
  •  is different from the actual procedure that was followed.

**RIKEN president Ryoji Noyori did state:
“It is extremely regrettable that significant discrepancies have been found to have been generated in the process of preparing the Nature articles for publication,” the statement continued. “We are investigating these discrepancies, with the understanding that it may become necessary to demand the withdrawal of the articles.”

**IPBiz asks:  When a scientist prepares work for publication in a prestigious journal such as Nature, would not the scientist be careful NOT to have "significant discrepancies " ?

Link to earlier IPBiz post:


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