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Scientist concludes that easy stem cell production published in Nature “does not work”

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3229 (Published 12 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3229
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

A Hong Kong scientist who has tried to replicate a supposedly easy way to generate stem cells has been forced to conclude that the method does not work.

Kenneth Lee and colleagues at the Chinese University of Hong Kong were among the scientific groups that actively followed up what would have been, in his words, “a major game changer in regenerative medicine.”

This was the controversial claim published in Nature by Haruko Obokata and colleagues from the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, that subjecting mouse cells to immersion in a bath of warm acid restored them to a pluripotent state—from which, in principle, they could be used to create a …

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