The authors of a controversial 2004 study in Science describing visfatin, a fat cell protein with insulin-mimetic properties, are retracting their findings in a letter published online today (October 25) but maintain that the findings are valid.Atsunori Fukuhara and his colleagues at the University of Osaka wrote in the retraction letter, "At the suggestion of the editor of Science, we have agreed to retract the paper, even though we continue to stand by our conclusions." In the study, which has been cited more than 200 times, the researchers identified visfatin as a new protein found in adipose tissue that has insulin-mimetic properties. After the paper was published online in December 2004, other research showed visfatin to be genetically identical to a known growth factor called pre-B cell colony-enhancing factor (PBEF). Researchers have also cast doubt on whether it is in fact insulin-mimetic.Masaya Tohyama, dean of the Osaka University Graduate...

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