Remember a few months ago when the world stared slack-jawed at the scientist who turned blood cells into stem cells in a matter of minutes? This miraculous breakthrough could change medicine as we know it. Too bad it wasn't true. The study has now been officially retracted.
Haruko Obokata, the 30-year-old Japanese scientists behind the research, just agreed to withdraw two papers from the prestigious journal Nature. This happened some time after Riken, the research institution that sponsored the study, concluded that Obokata fabricated at least some of the data and asked her to retract the papers. It's also two months after Obokata's own colleague, a scientist who helped with the research, demanded a retraction. But it's hard to go from being the hero scientist of the year to being a confessed fraud in just six months' time. [AFP]