After a probe established that the ground-breaking study on stem cells was fabricated, a Japanese government-funded laboratory, which has conducted the study, said that they will punish the lead researcher and other scientists who were found of adopting malpractice during the research work.
The Riken Center for Development Biology in Kobe, western Japan, had received big applauds for the stem cell research which they dubbed as a possible breakthrough for growing tissue to treat major illnesses like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease using a simple lab procedure.
Later on, significant discrepancies in research, published in January in scientific journal Nature, led a panel of scientists at Riken to conclude they stemmed from falsified data.
Riken institute head, Ryoji Noyori, who jointly won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2001, said, “We will rigorously punish relevant people after procedures in a disciplinary committee.”
Haruko Obokata, the lead author of the paper in Nature, had manipulated or falsified images of DNA fragments used in the research. Moreover, other experienced scientists may be under scanner.
Shunsuke Ishii, Riken scientist who led the committee charged with investigating allegations the work was falsified, said, “The investigation committee has concluded that Ms. Obokata is responsible for manipulation and therefore for research malpractice.”
Meanwhile, the Journal Nature has also launched its own investigation.