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stem cell

Nature has retracted a 2002 paper from the lab of Catherine Verfaillie purporting to show a type of adult stem cell could, under certain circumstances, “contribute to most, if not all, somatic cell types.” 

The retracted article, “Pluripotency of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult marrow,” has been controversial since its publication. Still, it has been cited nearly 4,500 times, according to Clarivate’s Web of Science – making it by far the most-cited retracted paper ever.

In 2007, New Scientist reported on questions about data in the Nature paper and another of Verfaille’s articles in BloodNature published a correction that year. 

The errors the authors corrected “do not alter the conclusions of the Article,” they wrote in the notice. 

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis, where Verfaillie worked when the Nature paper was published, in 2008 found the Blood paper contained falsified images, but Verfaillie was not responsible for the manipulations. Blood retracted the article in 2009 at the request of the authors. 

Verfaillie moved to KU Leuven, where she is...