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Nature clears stem cell paper of image manipulation charges

hochedlinger.jpgAn investigation by Nature has found no sign of fraud in a 2009 stem-cell paper from Konrad Hochedlinger’s group at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Last week an anonymous group calling itself ‘Stem Cell Watch’ sent a missive to researchers and journalists accusing the paper’s authors of inappropriately manipulating an image used in the publication. For more, see ‘Mystery fraud accusations’.

Below is the statement Nature released today:

Nature has investigated the claims made by the anonymous group Stem Cell Watch about the paper J. Utikal et al. Nature 460 1145–1148; 2009 ‘Immortalization eliminates a roadblock during cellular reprogramming into iPS cells’. The image has been evaluated by professionals and we are satisfied they are original and not unduly manipulated.

“While we wouldn’t encourage anonymous accusations, least of all those broadcast indiscriminately, there have been occasions where anonymous whistle-blowing has revealed fraudulent papers, so we will at least consider such accusations.”

Image: Konrad Hochedlinger/ Harvard Stem Cell Institute

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