The so-called STAP scandal of 2014 unleashed the power of anonymous online whistleblowers, who exposed falsified data in what had been hailed as groundbreaking stem cell research by the Riken institute and brought down its star scientist, Haruko Obokata.

While the scandal — which resulted in the retraction of two Nature journal papers on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, the firing of Obokata, the suicide of her mentor and the structural overhaul of Riken — is still fresh in people's minds, new allegations of research misconduct are rattling the medical establishment.

This time, suspicions have been raised over research at the University of Tokyo, Japan's venerable academic and research institution known as Todai.