• Kyodo

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Discredited stem-cell biologist Haruko Obokata will end her attempts to reproduce so-called STAP cells on Sunday as scheduled, officials at the Riken research institute said.

The young scientist is attempting to prove that the cells, which are purportedly capable of developing into any type of body tissue, actually exist after studies published by her team were discredited by allegations of research misconduct. She and her co-authors later retracted two research papers on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency that had been published in the British science journal Nature.

The state-backed institute plans to disclose the results of her tests after compiling the data but has not decided when to release them because it is not known how long it will take to interpret the data, the officials said Friday.

Obokata will organize and analyze the data under the supervision of other researchers, including the leader of a Riken team that is attempting to reproduce the fabled cells, the officials said.

In August, the team said in an interim report that it had not yet succeeded. Obokata has joined the research team to conduct, with a third party present, experiments that are set to be terminated at the end of this month, regardless of progress.

The research team, meanwhile, will continue its own experiments through March next year.

Her papers were considered trailblazing when published in January but were retracted in July after allegations of data falsification and fabrication emerged.

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