Another stem cell paper has been retracted from Nature, this one a highly cited 2008 study that had already been the subject of what the journal’s news section called a “furore” in 2010.
According to that 2010 news story:
The researchers behind the original work1, led by Thomas Skutella of the University of Tübingen, reported using cells from adult human testes to create pluripotent stem cells with similar properties to embryonic stem cells.
But a 2010 Brief Communication Arising called those findings into question. And now, the authors have retracted the paper. Here’s the notice for “Generation of pluripotent stem cells from adult human testis:”
The authors have provided new data to correct errors presented in this Article. Nature has peer-reviewed all evidence provided by the authors to the editors. The images presented in the original version of the Article made the data appear more robust than newly conducted experiments show. The new data have brought to light that the original conclusions are not as robust as presented in the original paper. Nature does not dispute the main claim that the cells are pluripotent to some level, but the level of proof of pluripotency shown is not in line with regular criteria for such papers in Nature. Consequently, the authors have agreed to retract their manuscript.
The study has been cited 281 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Skutella — who sued his university for cutting his promised funding in the wake of the questions over his work– tells Retraction Watch:
We are in the process of publishing new research on haGSCs and have already published a new research paper on human spermatogonia.