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Investigation of the cellular reprogramming phenomenon referred to as stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP)

By Hitoshi Niwa

Posted 28 Sep 2015
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/027730 (published DOI: 10.1038/srep28003)

In January 2014, it was reported that strong external stimuli, such as a transient low-pH stressor, was capable of inducing the reprogramming of mammalian somatic cells, resulting in the generation of pluripotent cells (Obokata et al. 2014a, b). This cellular reprograming event was designated 'stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency' (STAP) by the authors of these reports. However, after multiple instances of scientific misconduct in the handling and presentation of the data were brought to light, both reports were retracted. To investigate the actual scientific significance of the purported STAP phenomenon, we sought to repeat the original experiments based on the methods presented in the retracted manuscripts and other relevant information. As a result, we have concluded that the STAP phenomenon as described in the original studies is not reproducible.

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