2013 Stem Cell Study Officially Retracted

Reproducibility is a very important element of any scientific study. In recent years, however, many scientists publish their findings in journals before proving that their findings can be replicated. This practice can sometimes lead to studies that sound exciting, but unravel upon further scrutiny.

And this scenario can explain why a 2013 study on stem cell research has been officially retracted by Cell, the journal that originally published it.

The Study

Three years ago, Harvard University researcher Douglas Melton lead a team in a study they believed would be a step forward for diabetes treatment. The study involved a hormone called betatrophin, which they found effective in increasing the production of beta cells in diabetic mice. Betatrophin, Melton argued in the published study, “could augment or replace insulin injections.”

But one year after the publication, an independent team at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals attempted to recreate the Harvard team's results. They published another paper in Cell, in which they concluded that betatrophin was not influential in beta cell expansion.

2015 showed promise for Melton's team, as another research group managed to replicate their findings with diabetic rats. But after two labs tried their hands at the study, the conclusion was clear: Harvard's original research had to be withdrawn.

The Retraction

Since 2013, Melton has been closely following the replication studies surrounding his research. He even published a replication of his own in PLOS ONE, another scientific journal. However, he told Retraction Watch in an interview that getting the retraction from Cell was very important – to him, and to the scientific community.

“I wanted to make sure anyone doing a PubMed search would see this is our present view,” Melton said. “It would be most unfortunate if a lab missed the PLOS ONE paper, then wasted time and effort trying to replicate our results.”

While this retraction may feel like a step backwards to some diabetics and diabetes researchers, Melton believes this will be a great thing for the field as a whole.

“It’s an example of how scientists can work together when they disagree, and come together to move the field forward,” he told Retraction Watch. “The history of science shows it is not a linear path.”

Source: The Scientist

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

”Metabolic memory” (less commonly known as ”hyperglycemic memory” or “legacy effect”) refers to the lingering effects of a long period of either...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have successfully competed in the Olympic Games. Their amazing stories prove that diabetes is no match for...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....