Cloning, Stem Cell Research Troubles, Scandals, And More
I blogged about the South Korean cloning scandal (Dr. Hwang) and now we see the same thing happen again in Japan?
This time it is another claim that genetically engineered stem cells can cure all kinds of genetic diseases.
Did these people not learn a thing?
Sorry, we do not believe you. You use genetically modified animals for your studies: mice that have been transmogrified to develop cancer more easily and rapidly for your research purposes. Most people are kept in the dark about their suffering, but you push on, funded by tax payers - and then you don't even take sufficient care to NOT fake images and make claims, just to get published?
And you patent your methods, clearly in order to make profits, rather than create benefits for society.
We have seen the same thing happen with genetically modified foods.
Where is the support for independent studies?
Here is a blog that makes all kinds of claims that animals must be used in scientific research: Speaking of Research, however, carefully avoids any topics like GM and cloning and stem cells scandals. In the UK, they are this open about how genetically modified mice are used. Understanding Animal Research
Over at Consumers Union of Japan, we have carefully monitored Japan's efforts to do cloning.
Again in 2014, Japanese researchers agree to withdraw their study from the scientific magazine, Nature.
Disgusting: A word I rarely use. Never used on Kurashi before, as far as I know. Angry. Well, that happens. Any word from the key RIKEN researcher, Dr. Obokata, how she feels? No, I didn't think so. Tears, I think one report mentioned. And that she was hospitalized, and unable to answer questions.
Exactly the same method used by Dr. Hwang some 10 years ago, as he tried to avoid responsibility in the face of facts.
Asahi: Obokata agrees to pull main STAP cell article
Haruko Obokata, the scientist accused of fabricating her research into a new type of stem cell, has agreed to withdraw her groundbreaking article published in the British science journal Nature in January that brought her worldwide acclaim.
Once the article on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP, cells, is retracted, her discovery will cease to have any scientific basis.
Obokata, 30, leads a research unit at the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe. Of the eight co-authors of the main STAP article, Obokata and Charles Vacanti, an anesthesiology professor at Harvard University, served as lead authors.
Vacanti has also contacted the co-authors and expressed his intention to withdraw the article, sources said.
Riken officials announced June 4 that Obokata signed a document of agreement to retract the article and submitted it to one of her co-authors the previous day. The institute had earlier concluded she fabricated or doctored illustrations.
In May, she agreed to withdraw a supplementary paper, which also contains erroneous use of illustrations.
Yomiuri: 2 STAP articles to be withdrawn from Nature
After months of stormy controversy over their validity, the two articles on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) that were published in the British scientific journal Nature in January will be withdrawn, possibly sometime this week, according to sources close to the matter.
All 14 writers involved in drafting the articles including chief author and RIKEN unit leader Haruko Obokata have agreed to retract the articles, the sources added.
Nature will publish a note explaining their decision.
With their withdrawal, the research results on STAP cells will be erased entirely.
According to Nature, the articles will be archived in its database after indicating they have been pulled.
A RIKEN investigation committee has found fabrication and falsification in images used in the main article and unusual points in images in the other.
Gene analyses by a third party research institution and others have cast doubt on the very existence of STAP cells.
Millions if not billions are being invested in these kinds of projects, and we get nothing for it. Better invest in proper consumer health campaigns, help people avoid unhealthy foods and drink (like the campaigns by Consumers International, look it up). Pipe dreams, hoping that some kind of magic bullet will cure all our diseases, just because the link to "DNA" which noone seems to understand, but is so useful for getting research funding. Despicable. Another first here at Kurashi.
It will probably be years before we really know what happened at RIKEN.
Nature.com: Whistle-blower breaks his silence
Read more about what happened to the South Korean researcher Young-Joon Ryu, who was a key figure in Hwang’s laboratory for several years, as he reveals the fallout he faced from his tip-offs about former cloning fraudster Woo Suk Hwang.
Young-Joon Ryu, who was a key figure in Hwang’s laboratory for several years, kept his silence for eight years. But in a blog post in December 2013 and a subsequent interview with Nature, he revealed that he was responsible for initiating the investigation that uncovered one of the biggest frauds in science. He has since received both support and abuse, highlighting just how divided South Korean society still is over the legacy of its fallen hero.
“The nature of the Hwang scandal is the abuse of other people’s sacrifice and other people’s lives for personal success,” Ryu, now in the pathology department at Kangwon National University in Chuncheon, told Nature.
Hwang claimed in 2004 to have cloned a human embryo and produced stem cells from it, potentially opening the way for new disease treatments. In 2006, he admitted fabricating his findings, but despite being convicted of fraud, has since made a controversial comeback (see Nature 505, 468–471; 2014).
Ryu joined Hwang’s laboratory at Seoul National University in 2002, and that year led the team that attempted to create cloned human embryos and stem-cell lines from them. He wrote the first manuscript of an article on the work, which was published with great fanfare in February 2004 (W. S. Hwang et al. Science 303, 1669–1674; 2004).
When Hwang’s group published a dazzling follow-up the next year that suggested that the previous proof-of-principle was almost ready for the clinic (W. S. Hwang et al. Science 308, 1777–1783; 2005), Ryu was suspicious. He knew that important lab members had left, yet the team had pumped out 11 embryonic stem-cell lines in a short time. “I knew how difficult it was,” he says. “It wasn’t logical.”
He then heard that Hwang was preparing a clinical trial for a 10-year-old with a spinal-cord injury, whom Hwang had promised to make walk again. Ryu had known the boy and worried that a trial could hurt him. “I was furious,” he says. “I wanted to stop all of that.”
Lacking evidence and worried that his identity might be revealed, Ryu baulked at approaching the university or police. Instead, on 1 June 2005, he e-mailed television network Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to recommend an investigation.
MBC producers were initially intimidated by Hwang’s star status, but decided to work with Ryu to develop their case. A first programme on the subject, about ethical violations in the way that Hwang recruited egg donors, aired on 22 November 2005, and forced a confession from him. A storm of support for Hwang ensued. A second programme, concerning the fraudulent research, was postponed after sponsors withdrew support for the TV network and producers faced legal and physical threats. But suspicion was mounting. Posts on the website of the Biological Research Information Center (BRIC), in which volunteers noted errors in the papers, helped to force Seoul National University to open an investigation. By the time the second show aired, on 15 December, Hwang’s fate was sealed.