From New Scientist:
A young researcher who shot to fame for her simple way of turning adult cells into stem cells by bathing them in acid has been found guilty of misconduct, but claims the underlying science is sound.
In which case, given the importance of the subject, one wonders why no one has duplicated her research.
As a rule, claims that don’t hold up are seen against a background of intense desire for the discovery to be true or else most colleagues believe the finding to be accurate for reasons unrelated to evidence (which is why they don’t question it).
Much research into life on other planets suffers from the first problem. See, for example, the recent “Moon not needed? Life more likely on ‘tilt-a-worlds’?” where researchers claim that a moon could actually be a disadvantage for origin of life. Yet the only planet we know of that has life, our own, needs its moon to stay habitable.
The disgraced Dutch social psychology researcher, Diedrik Stapel, provides an example of the second problem. His “edgy” findings may have been edgy to the public, but his colleagues probably assumed that them to be correct. They lacked evidence that they were. He supplied it. But unfortunately, …
But chances are, there is more to the Obokata story. Readers?
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