Nature Retracts Two Long-Troubled Stem Cell Papers

So you can't make stem cells so easily after all.

The journal Nature has finally retracted two major studies it published in January, which claimed to have found new and easy ways to turn regular cells into stem cells. Not long after the papers first went online, independent scientists began noticing apparent plagiarism within them. Independent teams were unable to replicate the papers’ findings. Later, a genetic test found that the stem cells described in the papers were not what the papers claimed.

All the scientists involved in the studies have now agreed to retract the papers, according to a letter Nature published online today. The letter describes what the retraction looks like:

The letter continues with the results of Nature‘s own inquiry into whether experts at the journal should have caught these problems sooner. The journal’s editors decided they couldn’t have:

Still, the journal is apparently making some changes, in hopes of catching poorly done and fraudulent papers in the future:

The journal published a separate article with technical details on the retraction.