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22 Feb 2014 01:54

Paper on STAP cells contains minor errors, co-author says

NEW YORK -- Image irregularities in academic papers that announced a Japan-U.S. research team's success in producing stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells were caused by minor errors, a co-author said.

The co-author, Harvard University professor Charles Vacanti, added that the errors will not adversely affect the content of the paper as a whole. He made the comments to the Mainichi Shimbun via the public relations division of the university's Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he is employed.

The papers were co-authored by Haruko Obokata of Japan's Riken Center of Developmental Biology, professor Vancanti and others before being published in the British science journal Nature late last month.

Critics have pointed out that an image of a mouse's placenta, which the team claims STAP cells turned into, closely resembles an image from an experiment that had been conducted under different conditions, among other irregularities.

Vancanti said that the doubts over the images were caused by minor errors in the process of editing the papers.

February 21, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

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