In a stunning and tragic development, a co-author of the now-retracted Nature papers claiming to have found an easy way to create stem cells has committed suicide, according to news reports in Japan.
Hyogo Prefectural Police received a phone call around 9 a.m. from the center telling them that Sasai had been found hanging by a rope from a staircase railing at the Riken building in Kobe. Police said a suicide note was found nearby.
Sasai was one of 11 authors on one paper, and one of 8 on the other.
Our thoughts are with Sasai’s family, friends, and co-workers.
Update, 7 a.m. Eastern, 8/5/14: Nature issued the following statement:
This is a true tragedy for science and an immense loss to the research community. Yoshiki Sasai was an exceptional scientist and he has left an extraordinary legacy of pioneering work across many fields within stem cell and developmental biology, including organogenesis and neurogenesis. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time.
Hat tip: Twitter