Tag Archives: stem cell research

More fraud in peer-reviewed science

The science journal Nature today announced the retraction of two controversial stem cell papers.

The two papers reporting the stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) phenomenon appeared online on 29 January. Questions about the papers arose almost immediately, leading to an investigation by RIKEN, the headquarters of the network of the nationally funded laboratories that is based in Wako near Tokyo. Investigators documented several instances of fabrication and falsification in the papers and concluded that some of these constituted research misconduct on the part of [Haruko] Obokata [the lead author].

Japanese media recently reported that authors had agreed to retract the papers but were discussing the wording of the notice. In the note that appeared today, the authors point to errors previously identified by RIKEN investigations in supplementary documents. They also identify additional errors in both papers, including mix-ups in images, mislabeling, faulty descriptions, and “inexplicable discrepancies in genetic background and transgene insertion sites between the donor mice and the reported” STAP cells. [emphasis mine]

The list of errors now documented sound astonishing. In fact, I can’t see how any serious review by any competent specialist in this field could have missed them all, which suggests that for this research at least the peer-review process is mostly a sham. In fact, in the article Nature admits that its
» Read more

Six patients are suing one of the world’s largest stem cell companies, accusing it of fraud.

Six patients are suing one of the world’s largest stem cell companies, accusing it of fraud.

The patients claim that at RNL workshops they were misled into believing that treatments, still in the experimental stage, had already been proven effective. They allege that Hong told them stem cells would cure all ailments from which they suffered, including diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, back pain and insomnia, and “reverse aging, restore health and virility including sex drive, and rejuvenate their body functions to that of their twenties and thirties.” They all say they have received no benefit from the treatments.

Altogether these patients spent $75,000 for these treatments.

It is very suspicious for any respectable medical institution to charge patients for experimental work. That should have been a red flag from the beginning.