Updated: 05/09/2014 00:52 | By Agence France-Presse

Japan institute rejects 'phoney' research scientist appeal

A respected Japanese institute that sponsored stem cell research hailed as groundbreaking said Thursday the young scientist who wrote the paper should withdraw it, adding it stood by its conclusion that she fabricated data.


Japan institute rejects 'phoney' research scientist appeal

Haruko Obokata, a researcher of Japan's Riken Institute speaks at a press conference in Osaka, western Japan on April 9, 2014

Haruko Obokata, 30, has insisted her findings were accurate, saying she had managed to create the building-block cells capable of growing into the specialised cells of the brain, liver, heart or kidneys.

She had urged her employer to reconsider its findings and exonerate her, but on Thursday the Riken Institute rejected that appeal in a move that may -- in the worst case scenario -- lead to a disciplinary discharge.

"The institute has decided not to review the conclusion and informed the person concerned of the decision as of today, while advising (her) to withdraw the paper," it said in a statement.

Obokata was feted as a modern-day Marie Curie after unveiling research that showed a simple way to re-programme adult cells to become a kind of stem cell.

So-called Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells were hailed as a breakthrough that could provide a ready supply of the base material for much-needed transplant tissue, at minimal cost.

But within weeks of her paper being published in the prestigious journal Nature, questions began to emerge, with fellow scientists saying they could not replicate her results.

It was later revealed by a Riken investigative panel that Obokata had cut-and-pasted illustrations used in other studies.

She accepted that the way she had presented the data was not right, but insisted it had been done for cosmetic reasons and not to alter the outcome, blaming her youth and inexperience for errors in her methodology.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。