The STAP stem cell fiasco still continues. In January 2014, Haruko Obokata in the Center for Developmental Biology at RIKEN in Kobe, Japan reported that she was able to convert mouse cells to a pluripotent state in a very simplistic fashion by exposing cells to stress. This procedure was called stimulus triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP). Soon after its publication, allegations of plagiarism, and figure manipulation and duplication were reported. Other researchers were unable to reproduce the STAP experiments and it seemed that the STAP cells were the result of contamination (Cyranoski, 2015). An investigative committee at RIKEN found Obokata had committed research misconduct while she defends her results admitting to sloppy science but not deliberate misconduct.
Shortly after the scandal was reported, Waseda University, where Obokata received her doctorate, revoked her PhD on a probationary basis. The concerns over Obokata’s thesis surrounded plagiarism and inaccuracies (Cook, 2015). The University however made multiple efforts to help Obokata redo her dissertation by providing revision instructions and required she take an online ethics training course which she completed. And while some revisions to the thesis were made, these were ins