Japanese lab at centre of stem-cell scandal to be reformed

Nature Newsblog - 5 hours 27 min ago

The Japanese research centre where one researcher was found guilty of scientific misconduct and another died in an apparent suicide this year will be renamed and reduced in size, the institute announced today.

The RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology (CDB) in Kobe is renowned as a world-leading organization for studying stem cells. But its reputation has been severely damaged by this year’s scandal: CDB biochemist Haruko Obokata was found guilty of scientific misconduct in work that claimed an easy way to make embryonic-like stem cells, but which no-one has been able to replicate. In July, her two Nature papers published on the technique, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP, were retracted. In August, Yoshiki Sasai, a senior co-author of the papers and a pioneering researcher at the CDB, was found dead: he left a suicide note that blamed the storm of media attention around the retraction of the two papers.

An independent RIKEN reform committee had recommended in June that the CDB be entirely dismantled. But that call led to a groundswell of support for the centre from stem-cell researchers around the world. They argued that one case of research misconduct did not mean an entire institute should be closed, even if a new centre replaced it. The committee’s proposals for the CDB “may even be more damaging than the incident itself”, noted Maria Leptin, a molecular biologist and director of the European Molecular Biology Organization in Heidelberg, Germany.

On 27 August, RIKEN said that the centre would be renamed, and its number of laboratories cut. It was not clear how many of its 540 staff would lose their jobs, if any. Masatoshi Takeichi, who has led the CDB since it was founded 14 years ago, will step down.

RIKEN also revealed in an interim report that its attempt to replicate the stem-cell findings have been unsuccessful. Histoshi Niwa, who is leading the replication effort and was a co-author on the original STAP papers, said he hadn’t yet managed to generate embryonic-like stem cells after treating mouse spleen cells with acid. The final report is expected by March. Obokata is also working on a replication attempt.

Categories: General, News

Specialization: Choosy wasps survive better, study shows

Science Daily: New Species - 9 hours 54 min ago
Specialized parasitic wasps, such as those using only a few host species, have a greater chance of establishing stable populations than generalist species, a new study shows. These results help with understanding the appearance of specialists in the history of animal evolution and could improve the effectiveness of biological control programs against insect pests.
Categories: General, Science Daily

Attacking a rare disease at its source with gene therapy

Biology News - Tue, 2014-08-26 19:45

Treating the rare disease MPS I is a challenge. MPS I, caused by the deficiency of a key enzyme called IDUA, eventually leads to the abnormal accumulation of certain molecules and cell death.

Categories: Biology News, General

New book list, August 20, 2014

Ernst Mayr Library Blog - Thu, 2014-08-21 11:15

Birds and climate change: impacts and conservation responses.
By James W. Pearce-Higgins, Rhys E. Green. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014117392
QL698.95.P43 2014

Climate change adaptation in Africa: an historical ecology.
By Gufu Oba. Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. HOLLIS# 014117419
SF55.H67 O43 2014

Coastal conservation.
Edited by Brooke Maslo and Julie L. Lockwood, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014117424
QH541.5.C65 C5485 2014

Collaborative partnerships in transboundary wildlife management: a review of southern African experiences.
By Solomon Mombeshora. Harare, Zimbabwe: Regional Office for Southern Africa, IUCN, The World Conservation Union, 2005. HOLLIS# 010205332
SK575.S55 M66 2005

Endangered elephants: past, present, and future: Symposium on Human-Elephant Relationships and Conflicts, Sri Lanka, September 2003.
Editor, Jayantha Jayewardene. Rajagiriya: Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust, 2004. HOLLIS# 010296666
QL737.P98 S98 2004

Fish chemosenses.
Editors, Klaus Reutter, B.G. Kapoor. Enfield, NH: Science Publishers, c2005. HOLLIS# 009795725
QL639.1.F5524 2005

Foundations of fisheries science.
Edited by Greg G. Sass, Micheal S. Allen; section edited by Robert Arlinghaus [and four others]. Bethesda, Maryland: American Fisheries Society, 2014. HOLLIS# 014122140
SH328.F68 2014

Handbook of Western Australian birds. Volume 2: Passerines (Blue-winged Pitta to Goldfinch).
By R.E. Johnstone and G.M. Storr, edited by Deborah Louise Taylor. Perth, W.A.: Western Australian Museum, 1998- . HOLLIS# 007975815
QL693.J655 1998 v. 2

Handbook on the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity.
Edited by Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, Pushpam Kumar, Tom Dedeurwaerdere. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, [2014]. HOLLIS# 014122147
QH541.15.E25 H25 2014

Indian birds.
By R. K. Gaur. New Delhi: Brijbasi Printers, 1994. HOLLIS# 010296659
QL691.I4 G38 1994

Inseklopedie van Suider-Afrika.
By Erik Holm. Pretoria: LAPA Uitgewers, 2008. HOLLIS# 012041994
QL485.S6 H65 2008

Mamíferos de España.
[By] Juan Carlos Blanco; prólogo de Miguel Delibes de Castro. 1. ed. Barcelona: Planeta, 1998. HOLLIS# 008190988
QL728.S7 B485 1998 v. 1-2

Quantitative genetics in the wild.
Edited by Anne Charmantier, Dany Garant, Loeske E.B. Kruuk. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. HOLLIS# 014122167
QH432.Q36 2014

Rare and endangered plants and animals of Gujarat, February 2003: as part of the Project Conservation of Rare and Endangered Biodiversity of Gujarat.
Vadodara: Gujarat Ecology Society, 2003. HOLLIS# 010296691
QK86.I4 R37 2003

Salmonid spawning habitat in rivers: physical controls, biological responses, and approaches to remediation.
Edited by David A. Sear and Paul DeVries. Bethesda, Md.: American Fisheries Society, 2008. HOLLIS# 012316469
SH167.S18 S3 2008

Shark nursery grounds of the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast waters of the United States.
Edited by Camilla T. McCandless, Nancy E. Kohler, and Harold L. Pratt, Jr. Bethesda, Md.: American Fisheries Society, 2007. HOLLIS# 012514564
QL638.9.S4537 2007

Spezielle Zoologie. [Teil. 1], Einzeller und wirbellose Tiere.
[Editors], Wilfried Westheide und Reinhard RiegerEinzeller und wirbellose Tiere3rd ed. Berlin; Heidelberg :Springer Spektrum, 2013. HOLLIS# 014137379
QL362.E36 2013 [Teil 1]

Teleosts: evolutionary development, diversity and behavioral ecology.
Skylar Carone, editor. Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publisher’s, Inc., [2014]. HOLLIS# 014122188
QL618.2.T45 2014

Wetland conservation in Sri Lanka: proceedings of the National Symposium on Wetland Conservation and Management: June 19th and 20th, 2003, IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Sri Lanka Country Office.

Colombo: IUCN, Sri Lanka, c2004. HOLLIS# 010296670
QH77.S72 N37 2003

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