Retraction: STAP papers

The STAP papers have been retracted (July 2, 2014), but the original Nature publications are not yet labeled as such:

Stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency
Nature  505, 641–647 (30 January 2014)
Haruko Obokata, et al.

Here we report a unique cellular reprogramming phenomenon, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP), which requires neither nuclear transfer nor the introduction of transcription factors.
In STAP, strong external stimuli such as a transient low-pH stressor reprogrammed mammalian somatic cells, resulting in the generation of pluripotent cells.
Through real-time imaging of STAP cells derived from purified lymphocytes, as well as gene rearrangement analysis, we found that committed somatic cells give rise to STAP cells by reprogramming rather than selection.
STAP cells showed a substantial decrease in DNA methylation in the regulatory regions of pluripotency marker genes.

Blastocyst injection showed that STAP cells efficiently contribute to chimaeric embryos and to offspring via germline transmission.

We also demonstrate the derivation of robustly expandable pluripotent cell lines from STAP cells.
Thus, our findings indicate that epigenetic fate determination of mammalian cells can be markedly converted in a context-dependent manner by strong environmental cues.

Science and Nature have more retractions than any other journal

Less than a quarter of retractions are the result of honest errors.

If Science Takes A Wrong Turn, Who Rights It?
August 05, 2011

Science is often idealized as a self-correcting system. But how often—and how quickly—is bad science set straight?

The physicist Max Planck once quipped that science advances one funeral at a time.
And by that he meant that old theories die hard, only when their supporters die off. Think for example how many funerals it took for Copernicus’s idea about the Earth orbiting the sun to catch on.

Of course, scientific debates didn’t stop there. New contradictory research surfaces all the time. And then others come out saying no, the original theory was the correct one. And then some studies in the top journals are retracted, as happened just a few weeks ago with a study in Science that claimed to have found the genetic signature of longevity, only to be retracted due to technical errors with a flawed chip.

Science and Nature, the two highest profile journals in all of science, have more retractions than virtually any other journal.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has also a very high number, in fact I think higher than either of them but as per capita, in other words, per paper, I don’t know what the appropriate, you know, Greek or Latin is there, it’s not necessarily higher.

STEEN: Yeah, both Science and Nature publish a lot more papers than most other journals do.