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Scientists retract studies about making stem cells in wake of falsified data claims

July 2nd, 2014 10:31 am by MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer

Scientists retract studies about making stem cells in wake of falsified data claims

In this Jan. 28 photo, Haruko Obokata, the lead author a stem-cell research paper by the Japanese government-funded laboratory Riken Center for Development Biology, speaks about research results. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

NEW YORK — Scientists who reported in January that they'd found a startlingly simple way to make stem cells have withdrawn that claim, following accusations of falsified data.

In two papers published earlier this year in the journal Nature, the researchers reported that they'd been able to transform ordinary mouse cells into versatile stem cells by exposing them to a mildly acidic environment. Scientists hope to harness stem cells to grow replacement tissue for treating a variety of diseases.

But not long after, a government-funded institution in Japan accused one of their scientists — a main author of the research — of falsifying data.

On Wednesday, Nature released a statement from the scientists. They acknowledged "extensive" errors and said they couldn't say "without a doubt" that their method works.

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