Scientists who had hoped to replicate the results of potentially groundbreaking stem cell research were unsuccessful, researchers with the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. The experiment, detailed in two papers published in January in the journal Nature, was initially heralded as a breakthrough in the field of stem cell biology, but was later met with skepticism after other institutions’ attempts to mirror the results of the experiment failed. Scientists retracted the papers in June.
Now, the institute that published the papers says its experiment could not be repeated. "Researchers have conducted 22 experiments thus far, but we could not confirm the emergence of cells in the conditions described in [lead researcher Haruko Obokata's] papers," Riken said in a statement.