The admission on March 14 by the prestigious government-backed Riken research institute that there were “grave errors” in two papers on a possible new method to create pluripotent stem cells is most regrettable.

A group of 14 Japanese and U.S. researchers headed by Dr. Haruko Obokata, at Riken’s Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, conducted the potentially groundbreaking stem cell research. Since Obokata and two co-authors from Riken are looking into the possibility of retracting the papers after consultation with other co-authors, there is the possibility that the findings themselves will come to naught.

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