OSAKA – Embattled researcher Haruko Obokata is questioning the very meaning of the terms “fabrication” and “falsification” used in a report by the Riken Institute in describing her work on so-called STAP cells, her lawyer said Wednesday.
In a letter to the institute, the 30-year-old Riken researcher again denied the allegations, and asked Riken to specify what acts its investigation panel believes were fabricated or falsified. Obokata and the Riken panel have yet to fully agree on the definition of the two terms, her lawyer, Hideo Miki, said.
The panel is considering whether to open a reinvestigation into the matter, in response to a complaint from Obokata, who rejects the panel’s findings on her research.
In the papers, released in January, Obokata and her colleagues claimed they had created stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency cells that could grow into any type of mouse body tissue.
The Riken panel released its investigation report on April 1, after other researchers raised questions about the papers. Obokata filed a complaint against the Riken report on April 8 and provided materials to back up her complaint on April 20.
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