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Nature withdraws papers describing easy way to generate stem cells

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4436 (Published 03 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4436
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Two papers describing a quick and easy way of generating stem cells have been retracted by Nature six months after they were hailed as groundbreaking. It turned out that what was broken were the rules of scientific evidence, Nature has conceded in an editorial,1 while arguing that outright falsification was extremely hard for editors and reviewers to detect.

The papers, from the Riken research centre in Japan, claimed that immersing mature mouse cells in a bath of weak acid shocked them back into a quasi-embryonic state with the power …

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