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'Phony' stem cell research scientist to be punished in Japan

Published on Apr 1, 2014 4:32 PM
 
Haruko Obokata, a scientist at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan, speaks in front of a screen showing Stimulus Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency (STAP) cells, in Kobe, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on Jan 28, 2014. A Japanese research institute said on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, it will punish the young female scientist after a probe found a ground-breaking study on the production of stem cells was fabricated. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese research institute said on Tuesday it will punish a young female scientist after a probe found a ground-breaking study on the production of stem cells was fabricated.

Riken institute head, Ryoji Noyori, who jointly won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2001, said in a statement he will "rigorously punish relevant people after procedures in a disciplinary committee."

The punishment is expected to be meted out to lead researcher Haruko Obokata and her more experienced colleagues.

The move is a huge blow to what was touted as a game-changing discovery, published by 30-year-old Obokata along with other Japanese researchers and a US-based scientist in the January edition of British journal Nature.

 
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