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Stem cell scientist of Japan Haruko Obokata resigned over stem cell scandal

Dec 23, 2014 12:34 IST

Stem cell scientist of Japan Haruko Obokata, who is at the heart of stem cell scandal, resigned on 19 December 2014. She resigned because she was not able to replicate her breakthrough discovery of STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) technique for making stem cells quickly and cheaply.

In January 2014, she published her groundbreaking research in Journal Nature. Her research claimed that she reprogrammed cells from newborn mice into cells with embryo-like flexibility by simply dipping them into acid for a 30-minute shock period.

The method would have been a huge improvement over existing techniques that use genetic engineering.

Following this, in February 2014, Riken Research Institute started an investigation and found that some of the results shown by Obokata were fabricated. She was later found guilty of misconduct by the Institute where the research on STAP cells is being done.

Earlier, Scientist of Korea Hwang Woo-suk was also found for stem cell misconduct in early 2000s that he had cloned embryos from human adults and made stem-cell lines out of them.

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