Institute opens probe into STAP cell article data


The national research institute Riken has launched an investigation into alleged “irregularities” in imaging data used in recent articles about a new way to create pluripotent cells in mice, officials said Monday.

Subject to the investigation are images used in two articles by a team led by the Kobe-based institute’s Haruko Obokata on the discovery of stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP, a simple method for creating cells that can develop into any type of tissue. The articles were published in the Jan. 30 edition of the British journal Nature.

Riken said the team’s findings are “unwavering.”

The probe, involving outside experts, comes after it was pointed out the images might’ve been taken from past articles.