TOKYO. A study in the “journal” Nature today shows that stem cells can be created simply by dipping researchers into a bath full of strong coffee.
The breakthrough is a surprise, as many researchers are known to drink their own body-weight in coffee every day. However, scientists in Japan have now proved without question that stem cells can be made just by dipping researchers in coffee. Fresh espresso works best, though normal “filter” coffee also works. Trials on instant coffee proved unsuccessful, and decaf coffee actually killed several people before the trials were stopped on ethical grounds (pun intended).
Stem cells are of huge interest to human health as they can differentiate into any other kind of cell, offering hope for healing damaged tissues such as the eye, heart and brain. Unfortunately, the major source of stem cells is are human embryos and many find that idea “a big oogy”. Therefore millions of dollars of research has been invested in creating stem cells from other types of cell more readily available.
The finding has been described as “unbelievable; literally so” by the Medical Research Council’s Prof Robin Love-my-Badge and as “a major scientific undiscovery” by Dr Dusky Village, a reader in stem cell science at Kings College London.
Dr Village added: “The ‘approach’ is indeed revolutionary; revolutionary in that most scientists tend to publish results that are actually true”
In a surprising twist, one of the authors called for the study to be retracted just 30 seconds after it was published. “Since publication 30 seconds ago, I have carried out a thorough review of over 18 months worth of laboratory notes, and decided that we cannot be convinced of these results. We should therefore retract them.” he said.