TOKYO-- A team of researchers at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe reported today that they have been unable to reproduce a simple method of creating stem cells that was reported in two Nature papers by CDB scientists earlier this year. "But these are just interim results, not a final conclusion,” Shinichi Aizawa, a RIKEN developmental biologist, said at a press conference.
RIKEN, which operates a network of nationally funded research institutes, also announced today that the CDB will be downsized, renamed and relaunched in November under new management.
In two papers, published online at Nature on 29 January, CDB's Haruko Obokata and others reported that simply subjecting mature mouse cells to a mild acid bath could produce stem cells, which are capable of developing into all of the cell types in a body. Stem cells are likely to be at the heart of a wide range of future medical treatments. The Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) method, as the researchers named it, was far simpler than all other known methods of creating stem cells. Co-authors of the paper include researchers at CBD, at other institutions in Japan, and at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.Continue Reading »