Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Authors of controversial STAP stem cell study author correct 2011 paper

with 2 comments

tissue engineering aThere have been a number of developments in the unraveling of two Nature studies out of the RIKEN Institute in Japan and Harvard purporting to show an easy way to create stem cells. There was an interim report of RIKEN’s investigation last Friday, and more details emerged this week.

And today, the Japan Times reported that last week, a correction of a 2011 paper by many of the same authors appeared in Tissue Engineering Part A. Here’s the correction notice, dated March 13:

In our paper entitled; “The Potential of Stem Cells in Adult Tissues Representative of the Three Germ Layers”, published in the journal, Part A Volume 17, Numbers 5 and 6, 2011, some errors have been identified in the figures published. Some very similar appearing PCR bands displayed in Figure 3, are incorrectly placed or redundantly used, either within Figure 3 or between Figures 2 and 3.

On Twitter, Paul Knoepfler called the correction problematic. Knoepfler, who has been critiquing the Nature papers on his blog, wrote that

They just removed “ambiguous” data (their wording) w/o replacing it w/correct data. Then say basically no big deal.


Also no mention that Figure 4 was also involved.

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