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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

STAP Stem Cell Study Boo Boo



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A bit ago, a stem cell researcher made international headlines claiming to have turned skin cells into pluripotent stem cells (STAP) using an acid bath–a seeming advance beyond induced pluripotent stem cells.

But other researchers have been unable to duplicate the result. And now, the author has called for her own paper’s retraction. From the New York Times story:

Dr. [Teruhiko] Wakayama said that the numerous questions raised left the authors with little choice but to retract the paper. Verification by independent researchers might also shed light on what went wrong in the study, he said.

“To investigate the study’s validity, we must first retract it, collect the right data and photos, and try to prove again that the study was right,” Dr. Wakayama said. “I think an outside investigation would also be important.”

This is how science is supposed to work.



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