Suspect science leads to pause in stem cell trial

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Science  02 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6414, pp. 513
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6414.513

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Harvard University officials disclosed that they have called for the retraction of 31 papers from cardiac researcher Piero Anversa, who once ran a Harvard Medical School lab studying the potential of stem cells to repair the heart. And this week, federal officials paused a related clinical study for a review, explaining that the pending retractions "have raised concerns about the scientific foundations of this trial." Anversa's research has long drawn controversy. Some critics of his work say studies like the now-halted trial should never have started, given long-standing questions about how—and whether—the cells Anversa identified might repair heart tissue. But other researchers defend the push into the clinic.

  • * With reporting by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel.

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