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Dr. Haruko Obokata, a rising star of the scientific community and lead author on two papers heralded as revolutionizing to the field of stem cell research, has been found guilty of scientific misconduct by Japan’s leading research institute.
The accusation is the latest problem for the studies, which claimed to be able to produce stem cells from ordinary cells in simple laboratory procedures: bathing regular cells in an acid, or applying mechanical stressors like “squeezing.” The research, known as stimulus triggered activation of pluripotency (STAP), was published in Nature in January, and recently ran into questions of methodology.
On Tuesday morning, the research institute RIKEN announced that Obokata, 30, had deliberately fabricated the data to produce the findings. Institute director Ryoji Noyori said he planned to “rigorously punish relevant people after procedures in a disciplinary committee,” according to AFP. Shunsuke Ishii, chairman of the investigative committee on the issue, told reporters that “Obokata alone is responsible for the misconduct.”
Paywall is down on this story.
For Japanese, the disaster of the Tohoku great earthquake is a nightmare that never goes away. Three years ago the 9.0 magnitude quake struck the Sendai region on March 11, 2011.
In Tokyo, the word “Jishin,” meaning earthquake, is a big part of daily life and culture. Signboards on the streets indicate the nearest emergency shelters and an earthquake forecast alert app, made by the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), is on everyone’s smartphones. The people try to stay alert for the next big disaster.
The death of three dogs lead to the Japanese involvement in World War II.
The real Birdman: Japanese comedians infiltrate Google Streetview shots. [h/t Kotaku]
The Lede has video recorded from the dashboard of a delivery driver’s car as the tsunami rushed through streets in Japan. This is fascinating POV footage, and it’s equally haunting as you can see how completely normal that day was for these people.
This came through our Twitter, and appears to be footage of a July 19th, 2011 meeting between residents of Fukushima Prefecture—which was heavily hit from the 3-punch combo of earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear fall-out.
Residents are demanding “that the government evacuate people promptly in Fukushima and provide financial and logistical support for them” to a government representative. At one point (2:50), the government representative is asked to test the urine of children—and that person refuses. Semi-chaos ensues (“Test this urine!”, “Do you not have children?” “Please don’t run away!”).