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Acid bath technique denounced after months of scrutiny

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on July 5, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Unfortunately, the two papers that were published in Nature that claimed that they could produce stem cells from adult cells by dipping them in a bath of acid for 30 minutes have been officially withdrawn. This technique was known as stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) and the cells produced were thus named STAP cells. It would have been a step forward for regenerative medicine since it would have avoided destroying an embryo.

After the publication in January, other scientists attempted to replicate the experiment but with no luck. The papers were scrutinized and lead author Haruko Obokata was found guilty of scientific misconduct. She was guilty of an incorrectly labelled spliced image and swapping a picture of what was supposed to be STAP cells turned into a teratoma (a type of tumor). This picture would have demonstrated the ability of the STAP cells to form a different type of cell. However, the cells were stressed by membrane perforation, not by the acid bath. On top of that, a third party of researchers found that none of the STAP cells matched the mouse strain which they claimed it was derived from.

Thomson, Helen. "Acid-bath Stem Cell Papers Are Finally Retracted." New Scientist. Reed Business Information Ltd., 2 July 2014. Web. 05 July 2014.


Categories: Health News

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