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To achieve its goal of turning discovery into health and to maintain its role as the world's premier biomedical research agency, NIH must support the best scientific ideas and brightest scientific minds. That means looking to the future and ensuring that we have a strong and diverse workforce to catalyze discoveries in all fields of biomedicine including emergent areas like data science.
Part of the NIH mission is supporting the next generation of scientists, funding thousands of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across the United States.
Innovation Through Diversity
Enhancing diversity in the NIH-funded workforce is urgent, given shifting U.S. demographics and the need to draw insights from all corners of America.
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This page last reviewed on November 16, 2023
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WHAT IS BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH?
Biomedical research is the broad area of science that looks for ways to prevent and treat diseases that cause illness and death in people and in animals. This general field of research includes many areas of both the life and physical sciences.
Utilizing biotechnology techniques, biomedical researchers study biological processes and diseases with the ultimate goal of developing effective treatments and cures. Biomedical research is an evolutionary process requiring careful experimentation by many scientists, including biologists and chemists. Discovery of new medicines and therapies requires careful scientific experimentation, development, and evaluation.
Why are Animals Used in Biomedical Research?
The use of animals in some types of research is essential to the development of new and more effective methods for diagnosing and treating diseases that affect both humans and animals. Scientists use animals to learn more about health problems, and to assure the safety of new medical treatments. Medical researchers need to understand health problems before they can develop ways to treat them. Some diseases and health problems involve processes that can only be studied in living organisms. Animals are necessary to medical research because it is impractical or unethical to use humans.
Animals make good research subjects for a variety of reasons. Animals are biologically similar to humans. They are susceptible to many of the same health problems, and they have short life-cycles so they can easily be studied throughout their whole life-span or across several generations. In addition, scientists can easily control the environment around animals (diet, temperature, lighting), which would be difficult to do with people. Finally, a primary reason why animals are used is that most people feel it would be wrong to deliberately expose human beings to health risks in order to observe the course of a disease.
Animals are used in research to develop drugs and medical procedures to treat diseases. Scientists may discover such drugs and procedures using alternative research methods that do not involve animals. If the new therapy seems promising, it is tested in animals to see whether it seems to be safe and effective. If the results of the animal studies are good, then human volunteers are asked to participate in a clinical trial. The animal studies are conducted first to give medical researchers a better idea of what benefits and complications they are likely to see in humans.
A variety of animals provide very useful models for the study of diseases afflicting both animals and humans. However, approximately 95 percent of research animals in the United States are rats, mice, and other rodents bred specifically for laboratory research. Dogs, cats, and primates account for less than one percent of all the animals used in research.
Those working in the field of biomedical research have a duty to conduct research in a manner that is humane, appropriate, and judicious. CBRA supports adherence to standards of care developed by scientific and professional organizations, and compliance with governmental regulations for the use of animals in research.
Scientists continue to look for ways to reduce the numbers of animals needed to obtain valid results, refine experimental techniques, and replace animals with other research methods whenever feasible.
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Medical research involves research in a wide range of fields, such as biology, chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology with the goal of developing new medicines or medical procedures or improving the application of those already available. It can be viewed as encompassing preclinical research (for example, in cellular systems and animal models) and clinical research (for example, clinical trials).
Synthesis of large polysaccharides facilitates identification of an active glycan domain
A preactivation-based one-pot glycosylation strategy was used to synthesize RN1 — a polysaccharide comprising 140 monosaccharide units isolated from Panax notoginseng , as well as a glycan fragment library. Evaluation of the biological activity of the glycans in vitro revealed that a decasaccharide fragment shows anti-pancreatic cancer activity.
Screening for drivers of SARS-CoV-2 uptake
Genetic and cellular drivers of the cellular uptake of SARS-CoV-2 can be screened at high throughput via droplet microfluidics and size-exclusion methods for the analysis of the formation of fusions between cells expressing the virus’s spike protein and cells expressing the protein’s receptor.
- Alexis Autour
- Christoph A. Merten
Tackling inappropriate antibiotic use in low-and middle-income countries
New data show that electronic clinical decision support systems integrated with point-of-care tests can lead to meaningful reductions in antibiotic use in children in low- and middle-income countries, without compromising health outcomes — but investment in human resources is crucial to their success.
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What is biomedical research.
Biomedical scientists study human physiology and the treatment or understanding of disease. Biomedical research applies the principles of the physical sciences to medicine. Most biomedical research is conducted by physicians or biomedical scientists, but many studies are conducted by biologists, chemists, physicists, and other medical and scientific professionals.
Most biomedical research involves clinical trials, which are phased studies using human volunteers, designed to answer safety and efficacy questions about biologics, devices, pharmaceuticals, new therapies or new ways of using known treatments. Trials are often conducted in small group initially but expanding in later stages once safety and efficacy are demonstrated. Most clinical trials are FDA regulated, but there are some exceptions.
Types and Methods
- research on therapies ( e.g. , drugs, exercise, surgical interventions, or medical devices)
- diagnostic procedures ( e.g. , CAT scans, prenatal diagnosis through amniocentesis)
- preventive measures ( e.g. , vaccines, diet, or fluoridated toothpaste)
- studies of the human body while exercising, fasting, feeding, sleeping, or learning
- responding to such things as stress or sensory stimulation
- Studies comparing the functioning of a particular physiological system at different stages of development ( e.g. , infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or old age)
- Studies defining normal childhood development so that deviations from normal can be identified
- Records research – often used to develop and refine hypotheses
- research on the biochemical changes associated with AIDS
- research on the neurological changes associated with senile dementia
- Research on the human genome and genetic markers – for the purpose of creating new avenues for understanding disease processes and their eventual control
- research with animals
- research on preexisting samples of materials (tissue, blood, or urine) collected for other purposes, where the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects
- research based on records, when the data are recorded in such a manner that the individuals to whom the records pertain cannot be identified, either directly or through identifiers linked to them
Risk is the probability of harm or injury (physical, psychological, social, or economic) occurring as the result of participation in a research study. Biomedical researchers must consider the following risks when conducting their study:
- Social, psychological, or economic harm (See Social Behavioral Research for details)
- exercise-induced or repetition-exacerbated physical harm, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, asthma attacks, or heart attacks
- exposure to minor pain, discomfort (e.g. dizziness), or injury from invasive medical procedures
- possible side effects of drugs
Although most of the adverse effects that result from medical procedures or drugs are temporary, investigators must be aware of the potential for harm. The IRB will want to know how such outcomes will be minimized or addressed and is responsible for conducting a risk/benefit assessment.
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Six Paths Forward in Biomedical Research
By Michael Gottesman
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
A high-throughput robotic screening system at NIH tests hundreds-of-thousands of compounds for their potentials to treat diseases.
Last month I moderated our annual retreat with the NIH Scientific Directors, those individuals tasked with leading their Institute or Center (IC)-based intramural research program. We were joined by many of the IC Clinical Directors. And this year we decided to do something a little different: listen to a series of talks about exciting, new IRP research.
In past years we focused on purely administrative matters, and that’s certainly important. In fact, our efforts in previous years in shaping long-term planning for the IRP — discussions of hires, space, equipment, and, of course, budgeting — have led us to this point we find ourselves now in which we contemplate ways to implement the areas of scientific emphasis that we enumerated in our long-term plan.
We discussed six research areas ripe for development: inflammatory diseases; genotyping and phenotyping; cell-based therapies; neuroscience and compulsive disorders; RNA biology and therapeutics; and the microbiome. More than just a string of hot science topics, these are areas in which the IRP is uniquely positioned to excel and become a prime destination, helping to secure our relevance in the decades to come.
The C.W. Bill Young Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
We heard presentations from Danny Reich on multiple sclerosis (MS) and Tom Wynn on chronic fibrotic diseases. The connection? Many fields once considered disparate are now seen as interconnected, such as innate immunity, metabolism, and the microbiome. It’s hard to think of a disease that doesn’t have an inflammatory element. MS now is seen as a chronic inflammatory disease, which may change treatment targets. Fibrosis is at the root of inflammation, marking that fine balance between tissue repair and the demise of organ function. At the NIH, we have both the tools and expertise at the basic science and clinical levels, coupled with mechanisms to collaborate with industry, to develop a new generation of therapies for inflammatory disease…and maybe tackle the ill effects of aging, which some see as the ultimate inflammatory disease.
The NIH Clinical Center
Genotyping & phenotyping
The IRP is without question a terrific place to develop predictive genomic medicine, providing deep phenotyping of individuals whose genotypes signal the possibility of unusual manifestations of disease or normal variants. We can tap into patient populations already genotyped at the NIH Clinical Center (CC), our massive and mature cohort studies, such as the Framingham Heart Study and NIEHS’ studies of genetic determinants of environmental response, and other local genotyping centers. These study participants are available for recall and long-term follow-up. At the SD retreat, Richard Siegel described a unique opportunity to engage CC patients, existing cohorts, and also blood and bone marrow donors for an unprecedented genotype/phenotype open database. In what is surely proof of concept, Josh Milner described monogenic causes for allergic diseases in which elevated alpha-tryptase levels are seen after anaphylaxis. His important discovery was possible because of the easy access to connected datasets: single nucleotide polymorphisms from Merck and the NIAID Clinical Exome Initiative, and high tryptase values from the CC Biomedical Translational Research Information System.
Here’s another thoroughly trans-NIH opportunity. Steve Rosenberg ’s immunotherapy work is among the highest-profile clinical advances in recent years. But it doesn’t stop there. At the SD retreat, Christian Hinrichs described adoptive T-cell therapies with initial successes in treating epithelial cell cancers, using HPV cancer as a model. (A flowchart to depict the hundreds of NIH basic research projects from the past four decades that made this work possible would be dizzying.) On the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) front, Kapil Bharti described his promising clinical work on age-related macular degeneration. We have the diverse talent to lead in cell-based therapies. The only rate-determining step is the capacity for cell processing at the CC Division of Transfusion Medicine and the availability of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) facilities, both of which we are actively addressing.
The John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center
Neuroscience and compulsive disorders
To paraphrase a slogan for higher education, mind research is a terrible thing to waste. Opportunities abound, and we are now focused on maximizing our investment in the Porter Neuroscience Center (Building 35), a collaborative venue housing neuroscientists from 10 ICs. At the SD retreat, Veronica Alvarez described neuronal properties and pathways underlying compulsive disorders. Think about it: almost all of us have some compulsive disorder, be it nail-biting or something more serious, and these disorders can manifest in health-compromising conditions, such as obesity or addiction. As a follow-up, postdoctoral fellow Michael Krashes described how stimulating AgRP expression in mice would make these animals eat even if they were already full and suppress their fears to get more food. We have a proposal on the table to create a center on compulsive disorders which could yield exciting discoveries.
RNA biology and therapeutics
Once again, we find ourselves needing to take better advantage of what we already have. The IRP is thick with RNA biologists, but are we not seeing the woods for the trees? Sandra Wolin , newly recruited as a CCR lab chief from Yale, where she directed the Yale Center for RNA Science and Medicine, outlined the need for a virtual center at NIH for RNA that would feature a director, a steering committee, a website, and an annual meeting or symposium to address the need for unifying the field and giving RNA a visible presence at the NIH. In an ironic evolutionary twist, RNA is the new DNA when it comes to therapeutic targets. As such, Adrian Ferre-D’Amare presented his findings about the “dark matter of the transcriptome” and discussed how RNA is “ancient, stiff, modular, highly evolvable, and stereochemically precise.” In short, the science is hard but the reward is sweet.
With apologies to John Donne , it turns out we are islands — islands on which untold species of bacteria, archaea, protists, fungi, viruses, and bacteriophages work, play, and live. Surprisingly, only recently are we realizing how important the microbiome is to human health. The wrong balance of island inhabitants on and in our bodies, and chronic disease can take hold. At the SD retreat, Yasmine Belkaid described her award-winning research on the skin microbiome and other work at the NIH in the past few years. And Giorgio Trinchieri discussed his new line of research on the connection of the microbiome to cancers. The field is intertwined with immunology.
So, that’s what’s on the table for discussion. I’m not saying these are the only areas to develop. Nevertheless, the SDs as well as I and my staff were enthralled by the presentations and the possibilities that confront us. Expect noticeable action by the end of this year in accelerating progress in at least some of these scientific themes.
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This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 5, 2023
What does a biomedical scientist do?
Would you make a good biomedical scientist? Take our career test and find your match with over 800 careers.
What is a Biomedical Scientist?
Biomedical scientists uses scientific methods to investigate biological processes and diseases that affect humans and animals. They conduct experiments, analyze data, and interpret findings to improve our understanding of diseases and develop new treatments and cures. They also ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices through clinical trials and regulatory processes.
The work of biomedical scientists covers a wide range of areas, including genetics, microbiology, immunology, and biochemistry. Various tools and techniques are used to study living organisms at the molecular and cellular levels, such as microscopy, DNA sequencing, and protein analysis. Biomedical scientists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physicians and nurses, to develop new diagnostics and treatments for diseases.
What does a Biomedical Scientist do?
The work of biomedical scientists has a profound impact on human health and has contributed to the development of numerous life-saving medical advances.
Duties and Responsibilities The duties and responsibilities of a biomedical scientist vary depending on their area of specialization and the specific role they play within their organization. However, some common responsibilities of biomedical scientists include:
- Conducting Research: Biomedical scientists design and conduct experiments to investigate biological processes and diseases. They use various laboratory techniques, including microscopy, DNA sequencing, and protein analysis, to study living organisms at the molecular and cellular levels. They collect and analyze data, interpret findings, and communicate results to other scientists and healthcare professionals.
- Developing New Treatments: Biomedical scientists work to develop new drugs, therapies, and medical devices to treat diseases. They conduct preclinical studies to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments, and they work with clinicians to design and conduct clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments in humans.
- Analyzing Samples: Biomedical scientists analyze biological samples, such as blood, tissue, and urine, to diagnose diseases and monitor treatment. They use laboratory techniques to detect and quantify biomarkers, such as proteins and DNA, that are associated with specific diseases.
- Ensuring Quality Control: Biomedical scientists are responsible for ensuring the quality and accuracy of laboratory tests and procedures. They follow established protocols and standard operating procedures, maintain laboratory equipment, and monitor laboratory safety to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Managing Laboratory Operations: Biomedical scientists may be responsible for managing laboratory operations, including supervising staff, developing and implementing laboratory policies and procedures, and ensuring that laboratory equipment is properly maintained and calibrated.
- Collaborating with Other Healthcare Professionals: Biomedical scientists collaborate with other healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, to develop and implement treatment plans for patients. They communicate laboratory results and provide expert advice on the interpretation of test results.
- Teaching and Mentoring: Biomedical scientists may be responsible for teaching and mentoring students and junior researchers. They may develop and deliver lectures, supervise laboratory activities, and provide guidance and mentorship to students and trainees.
Types of Biomedical Scientists There are several different types of biomedical scientists, each with their own area of specialization and focus. Here are some examples of different types of biomedical scientists and what they do:
- Microbiologists : Microbiologists study microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They investigate how these organisms cause disease, develop new treatments to combat infections, and develop new diagnostic tests to identify infectious agents.
- Immunologists : Immunologists study the immune system and its role in fighting disease. They investigate how the immune system responds to infectious agents, cancer cells, and other foreign substances, and they develop new treatments that harness the immune system to fight disease.
- Geneticists : Geneticists study genes and their role in disease. They investigate the genetic basis of diseases, such as cancer, and develop new diagnostic tests and treatments that target specific genetic mutations.
- Biochemists : Biochemists study the chemical processes that occur in living organisms. They investigate how cells and tissues produce and use energy, and they develop new drugs and therapies that target specific metabolic pathways.
- Toxicologists : Toxicologists study the effects of toxic substances on the body. They investigate how chemicals, pollutants, and other environmental factors can cause disease, and they develop strategies to prevent and mitigate the harmful effects of toxic exposures.
- Pharmacologists: Pharmacologists study the effects of drugs on the body. They investigate how drugs interact with cells and tissues, and they develop new drugs and therapies to treat disease.
- Medical Laboratory Scientists: Medical laboratory scientists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists, perform laboratory tests on patient samples to diagnose diseases and monitor treatment. They analyze blood, urine, tissue, and other samples using various laboratory techniques and instruments.
What is the workplace of a Biomedical Scientist like?
Biomedical scientists work in diverse settings, contributing to advancements in medical research, healthcare, and the understanding of diseases. The workplace of a biomedical scientist can vary based on their specific role, specialization, and the nature of their work.
Academic and Research Institutions: Many biomedical scientists are employed in universities, medical schools, and research institutions. In these settings, they conduct cutting-edge research, lead laboratory teams, and contribute to scientific discoveries. Academic biomedical scientists often split their time between conducting research, teaching students, and publishing their findings in scientific journals.
Hospitals and Healthcare Settings: Biomedical scientists play a crucial role in healthcare, especially in clinical laboratories and diagnostic facilities. They may be involved in analyzing patient samples, conducting medical tests, and interpreting results to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Biomedical scientists working in hospitals collaborate with clinicians and healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and timely diagnostic information.
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies: The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries employ biomedical scientists to drive innovation in drug discovery, development, and testing. In these settings, scientists work on designing experiments, conducting preclinical and clinical trials, and developing new therapeutic interventions. Biomedical scientists may also be involved in quality control, ensuring the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products.
Government Agencies and Public Health Organizations: Biomedical scientists can work for government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In these roles, they contribute to public health research, policy development, and the regulation of healthcare products.
Nonprofit Research Organizations: Nonprofit organizations dedicated to medical research and public health also employ biomedical scientists. These organizations focus on specific diseases or health issues and work towards finding solutions, advancing knowledge, and advocating for improved healthcare practices.
Private Research Foundations: Biomedical scientists may work for private research foundations that fund and conduct medical research. These foundations often collaborate with academic institutions and industry partners to support innovative research projects with the potential to impact human health.
Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Teams: Biomedical scientists frequently collaborate with professionals from various disciplines, including bioinformaticians, clinicians, engineers, and statisticians. Interdisciplinary collaboration is common, especially in research projects that require a multifaceted approach to address complex health challenges.
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Categorizing biomedical research: the basics of translation
Jeffrey s. flier.
* Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
† Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA;
‡ Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; and
§ Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
As biomedical research has evolved over the past century, the terminology employed to categorize it has failed to evolve in parallel to accommodate the implications of these changes. In particular, the terms basic research and translational research as used today in biomedicine seem especially problematic. Here we review the origins of these terms, analyze some of the conceptual confusions attendant to their current use, and assess some of the deleterious consequences of these confusions. We summarize that the distinction between basic and translational biomedical research is an anachronism. Elimination of this often contentious distinction would improve both the culture and the effectiveness of the scientific process, and its potential benefits to society.—Flier, J. S., Loscalzo, J. Categorizing biomedical research: the basics of translation.
There is power in language that often transcends the simplest of intentions in its construction. Such is the case for the term “translational research,” which is defined by the European Society of Translational Medicine as an interdisciplinary branch of biomedical science supported by 3 main pillars: benchside, bedside, and community ( 1 ). Defined in this way, translational research involves the application of scientific observations to the human condition, a process that involves many steps from conception of the problem to its ultimate application ( 2 ). “Basic research,” by contrast, refers to scientific research conducted without any particular practical purpose in mind a priori . There are, however, many nuances and confusions attendant to the use of these terms. To explore these distinctions and their implications for biomedical research, we should turn first to fundamental definitions
Research is based on intellectual investigation focusing on discovering, interpreting, and revising human knowledge of the world and as such, is a reflective endeavor. “Biomedical research,” as a subset of research is broad in scope, referring to activities spanning many disciplines of biology and medicine. Within these broad disciplines are experiments designed to understand reality by examining events at many different levels of organization, from the atomic level ( e.g. , structure of key biologic molecules), to the molecular and cellular levels ( e.g. , biochemistry, cell biology), to the organismal level ( e.g. , physiology and pathophysiology), and to the population level as well ( e.g. , population genetics, epidemiology, and public health). These domains are not tightly bounded: many fields of biomedical research, as self-defined or demarcated by professional organizations or academic departments, span many or even all of these levels of experimental inquiry.
Consider the discipline of neurobiology, with research addressing topics as diverse as the atomic structure of ion channels; signal transduction; development of the nervous system; systems properties of neural networks; the basis for the emergent properties of consciousness, cognition, and emotion; the molecular basis for diseases of the nervous system; and many others. Many such studies can be carried out in simple or complex models and increasingly in humans. Investigators can focus selectively on individual elements ( e.g ., ion channel structure and function), or integrate observations at multiple levels to answer a specific question. Consider a genetic disease of the nervous system in which a defined mutation causes a molecular alteration in a specific protein, the understanding of which requires studying the effects of the molecular defect on neuronal function ( e.g ., a channelopathy) and on complex neural circuitry ( i.e ., interneuronal communication) and behavior. Is there a clear line separating which component of such neuroscience research is basic and which is translational? The clarification of the system-wide (cellular or organismal) consequences of the mutation not only informs our understanding of disease pathogenesis but also informs the fundamental biology of the protein that could not be appreciated from studies of the protein in isolation.
Next, consider genetics, a field encompassing diverse, investigative efforts, spanning atomic resolution of DNA structure and DNA–protein interactions, the genetic basis for development, how changes in the genome cause altered function and disease, and the way in which genetic variation affects the fitness of populations. Each of these distinct aspects (and others) may be studied in different model systems, including organisms as diverse as yeast, worms, flies, mice, and most relevant to medicine, humans. Investigators interested in a specific biomedical problem ( e.g. , aging, metabolism) may carry out research spanning many of these levels of inquiry in more than one of these models. How can we distinguish basic from translational research in this context? Is research on the molecular details of DNA–protein interactions more basic than research on the role of DNA sequence variation in human health? Is research focusing on a specific protein in a simple organism more basic than research on the homologous protein in a human cell? Is a study at the atomic level more basic than a study of molecules, the latter more basic than a study of organelles and cells, and that, in turn, more basic than a study of complex organisms, just as some consider mathematics more basic than physics, physics more basic than chemistry, and chemistry more basic than biology? We think the answer to these questions is no.
Within all scientific endeavors, class distinctions can influence career choices and validate the perceived importance of one’s professional output. In a lecture one of us gives trainees on career development, a slide is presented, indicating one approach to hierarchies in science, in this case set by the importance and rigor of quantitative thinking in each discipline: pure mathematicians view themselves as scientifically superior to applied mathematicians and physicists, who view themselves as scientifically superior to chemists and biologists, who view themselves as scientifically superior to physician–scientists. This type of distinction between pure mathematicians and physicists was well illustrated by Peter Rowlett in a commentary in 2011 ( 3 ): In 1998, the engineer, Gordon Lang applied Thomas Hales’s 1970 solution to the Kepler conjecture (dating to 1611 and addressing the best way to pack spheres, which turned out to be the greengrocer strategy—6 in 2 dimensions, 12 in 3 dimensions, 24 in 4 dimensions, and 240 in 8 dimensions) to solve the problem of the optimal way to pack signals in transmission lines (modeled best as an 8-dimensional lattice). This solution opened up the internet for broad public use by maximizing the efficiency of signal transmission. When the mathematician Donald Coxeter, who helped Lang understand Hales’s mathematical solution, learned of Lang’s application, he was appalled that this beautiful theory had been sullied in this way. There are many other examples of this highly opinionated view of scientific hierarchies, not least of which is Ernest Rutherford’s comment that “all science is either physics or stamp collecting” ( 4 ).
Insofar as such self-affirming, hierarchical distinctions make us feel better about who we are, especially in a highly competitive environment, it is no wonder that the historical distinctions between basic and applied or translational research continue to exist in the minds of some faculty members, persisting well beyond their usefulness. When Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1985 for their work on cholesterol metabolism in which they identified the LDL receptor as defective in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, many of us thought that the distinction between basic and applied biomedical research had become an anachronism and would (should) dissipate. To be sure, as modern medicine moved from an era of observation to the era of molecular biology, scientific questions, methods, analyses, and interpretations became increasingly conflated across the basic-applied spectrum. Clearly, both ends of the spectrum advance knowledge: basic investigation informs our understanding of pathobiology, and translational studies of disease mechanisms inform our understanding of basic biology. Examples of this latter point abound and have led to the New England Journal of Medicine series, “Basic Implications of Clinical Observations” ( 5 , 6 ). The Wall Street Journal contributor and author, Matt Ridley, has taken this perspective one step further and argued that basic scientific advances can be the consequence, rather than the cause, of applied technological advances (innovation) ( 7 ) ( e.g. , cryoelectron microscopy was developed to limit the consequences of radiation damage for biologic specimens and of structural collapse by dehydration under a vacuum; with the solution to these practical problems came a dramatic expansion of the field of structural biology, now to include high-resolution images of complex macromolecular structures that defied analysis by conventional X-ray crystallography and diffraction, and time-resolved changes in macromolecular structures or intermolecular interactions). Interpreted most generously, these examples illustrate that basic biomedical research and translational biomedical research have been coevolving successfully into a seamless continuum of investigation.
Given the diversity of questions and model systems being investigated within individual fields, can we identify criteria that might be used to facilitate labeling specific research activities as basic or translational? If so, this might clarify public discourse and enhance communication within the scientific community and between the scientific and lay communities.
POTENTIAL CRITERIA FOR CONSIDERING RESEARCH AS BASIC VS . TRANSLATIONAL
The identity of the institution and department in which the research is performed.
At most medical schools, many faculty members are members of what are institutionally denoted basic science departments, such as cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and neurobiology, among others. Many other faculty members are based in school-affiliated hospitals and within departments in which the names reflect clinical fields, such as medicine, pediatrics, surgery, and neurology, among others. These organizational distinctions might suggest that faculty in basic science departments conduct basic research, whereas those in clinical departments, at least in the main, conduct applied translational or clinical research. But that is not always the case. In biomedical research today, much investigation takes place in academic health centers (or hospitals), and much of this work lies within clinical departments, such as medicine, pediatrics, and neurology. In some such departments, most of the research pursued is clinical research on human subjects, much of it involving the testing of therapies or devices. In other clinical departments, including those at our Harvard-affiliated institutions, research spans a broad array of topics, from general cellular mechanisms to disease mechanisms, and such research may also use organisms from worms and flies to mice and, of course, humans. Many researchers in these departments pursue research as a full-time or nearly full-time endeavor, many are not physicians, and substantial numbers might fit just as well, based on the work they do and where they publish it, in traditional basic science departments. For these reasons, we should not categorize research as being basic or translational based on the identity of the institution or department in which it is performed.
The motivation of the investigator
Should research qualify as basic because an investigator pursues a question purely for reasons of curiosity, without any interest in the potential practical applications of the work? Likewise, should research qualify as translational because an investigator is pursuing the solution to a practical biomedical problem, such as the treatment of a disease? Perhaps surprisingly, these differences in applicability or practical purpose are common distinctions used to define the following terms: “basic research” is conducted without any practical end in mind, although it may have unexpected results pointing to practical applications ( 1 ), whereas, “translational research” applies scientific observations to practical questions on the human condition.
Although many scientists choose to pursue particular questions ( e.g. , how a complex organism develops from a single cell, what molecular interactions determine cell division or death, how one nerve cell communicates with another, etc .), because they see them as challenging puzzles without consideration of practical applications, it seems unhelpful to label the research as basic or translational solely on the basis of the motivations of the scientists regarding potential, practical impact. A scientist may be motivated to pursue the same research question because of curiosity as to how the world works or because of an intuition that the understanding of a particular pathway or mechanism might lead to an understanding of and potential treatment for a disease. For example, one might study cell death pathways as a challenging biologic problem with relevance to developmental biology or because of a suspicion that such pathways might be relevant to cancer. Likewise, studies of adipocyte-specific gene expression in cell culture might be pursued as a means to understand regulated gene expression, or be motivated by a desire ultimately to understand obesity. Would such practical motivations on the part of the latter scientist render their inquiries less basic? We think not. Although research called basic today, often lacks a consciously applied, practical motivation, that seems not to be an essential reason to label the inquiry as basic. Likewise, research motivated by a desire to understand and eventually facilitate treatment of a disease should not, for that reason alone, be considered translational or less basic. Rather, one or more characteristics of the research itself should determine how it is categorized. This is distinct from the issue, raised by some observers, that current grant proposals force investigators to claim the potential impact of their work on future clinical application before such links are reasonable to assert ( 8 ).
The scientific importance of the work
Some discoveries, by virtue of their powerful capacity to change the way we think about an area, are more important and have greater generalizability and impact than others. Whereas some scientific observations provide new, explanatory frameworks and affect many unanticipated areas of inquiry, others provide more limited understanding, with little or no impact on other fields. The term basic could be used to describe research that is fundamental in this way. If this kind of importance or impact is what we mean when referring to research as being basic, then the term can be applied to many different kinds of research, from the purely theoretical to that dealing with events at the atomic, molecular, cellular, organismic, or population level. Likewise, by the criterion of scientific importance, basic research can involve organisms ranging from bacteria, to worms, to mice, or to humans, and some research on humans can readily be judged as more basic ( i.e. , more important) than some research on worms. Furthermore, molecular discoveries about a specific pathway that are novel but add incrementally to the field and lack impact outside it may be judged less basic in this sense than human studies, revealing new insights about a previously unexplained physiologic response or disease.
Thus, if the term basic is used to refer to research that is scientifically important, then disease-related research, wherever it is carried out, can be more (or less) basic than research conducted in basic science departments. At the very least, this analysis would suggest that the term basic is being used in different ways in these various situations.
Whether the research is disease related and/or conducted on humans or human tissues
Historically, research in basic science departments has not prominently involved human disease models or subjects (there are exceptions), and this fact (which could have evolved differently and might still in the future), combined with the fact that much human and/or disease-related research is conducted in hospitals, has created a cultural divide. In this context, it might not be surprising that research on humans would be viewed by some as less basic than research typically not involving humans or their tissues carried out in basic science departments. But does this idea, or related constructs, have merit? Research on human subjects or tissues may be basic, based on criteria of scientific importance, having great impact on understanding human biology and disease and leading to a fundamental understanding of general biologic principles. Of course, most researchers who conduct human studies are motivated by or are aware of potential applications to disease. Is this a sound basis for applying the term translational to the research activity rather than viewing it as basic? Perhaps so, provided that the use lacks hidden implications of relative scientific value. As departments redefine their scope of interests ( e.g. , departments of physiology focusing on whole-organ genomics in humans), these distinctions of purpose, application, and relative value truly become moot.
Beginning about a decade ago, the field of translational research was redefined and re-emphasized as the ultimate formalism for all biomedical research, regardless of the nature (purely basic or translational) of the initial scientific question posed. The intention of redefining the field of translation was both a noble one, emphasizing, as it does, our academic community’s efforts to apply fundamental observations to the human condition, as well as a practical one, serving to emphasize to our legislators, in an era of fiscal constraint, that even basic research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has (or may have) practical applications that may benefit human health. Yet, it appears that this type of nomenclature has had an unintended, divisive effect within the academic biomedical community. Why? The newfound emphasis on the translation of basic observations to the clinical arena evolved in the setting of a severely cost-constrained NIH budget and applied yet another criterion for the use of limited government funds ( viz. , the potential for clinical application of even the most fundamental finding). This mandate was established in the setting of an expanded pool of biomedical, newly minted Ph.D. researchers through the doubling of the NIH budget in the early part of this century. As an increased number of Ph.D.s began to seek support from a significantly constrained pool of NIH funds, they found that they also now needed to justify their proposals based on potential translation to clinical application, no matter the topic. As a result, growing concern arose in the basic biomedical community about society’s commitment to support research without express practical purpose. For those members of the community who have always believed, if not insisted, on the age-old hierarchical distinctions between basic and applied biomedical research, the ascendancy of translational medicine gave them pause. Furthermore, this distinction has now led some members of the basic community to argue for the need to enhance support for basic studies so that fundamental scientific investigation not be lost in translation ( 9 ). The push for (rapid) clinical application is viewed by some as overvaluing translation ( 10 ) and, furthermore, has led to conflation of the more clinical end of the translational research spectrum with the more fundamental end of that spectrum ( 11 ). Thus, this transition has had the unintended consequence of promoting the age-old, hierarchical distinctions between intellectually and methodologically equivalent research strategies in domains called basic and translational research, inapplicable, though they now are, for the reasons delineated above.
Thus, in a most unfortunate way, the excessive emphasis on translational research has led to a reversion to outdated approaches as to how biomedical investigators relate to one another. We feel strongly that there is no place for these artificial distinctions in today’s biomedical research enterprise. They are intellectually limiting and in the worst case, create artificial barriers to sharing ideas and resources.
Summary interpretation of bases for categorizations
Based on the foregoing analysis, we think it is fair to conclude that use of the terms basic or translational biomedical research should not be dependent on the following criteria: 1 ) whether the scientist pursuing it is motivated by a desire for the work to have practical impact; 2 ) the scientific importance of the work; 3 ) the level of inquiry ( e.g. , atomic, molecular, cellular, physiologic, community); or 4 ) the name of the department in which the work is pursued. Yet, the question remains: is there an unambiguous use of the terms that can be widely accepted and, most important, advance the cause of the scientific enterprise?
The most meaningful distinctions that arise when describing and categorizing biomedical research relate to two specific issues: the precise question being asked and the approach used to address the question. The scientific questions can be broad in scope, ranging from studies of single molecules to populations of human subjects and from normal mechanisms to mechanisms of disease pathogenesis. Likewise, the methodological approaches applied can be equally broad, ranging from structural studies of single molecules to statistical genetic analysis of variant allele frequencies in populations of human subjects, with or without a disease phenotype. Each line of inquiry and experimental strategy can produce scientific results that are more or less important, with their importance only reliably ascertainable with the passage of time; can be motivated by a desire to produce practical/applied results or not; and can be performed by individuals conducting research in what we now call basic or clinical departments. Thus, the formation of distinctions between basic and translational research is not especially useful in the current era. This distinction is an anachronism that can best be appreciated by understanding its historical origins.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES UNDERLYING THE CATEGORIZATION OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH
For much of history, and, importantly, in 19th century Europe, a bright line was drawn between fundamental scientific inquiry and applied research. Whereas the former was carried out by professors in universities, the latter was often conducted in industry. Some of the greatest scientists and discoveries arose at the interface between fundamental and applied research—witness the discoveries of Pasteur, Langmuir, and those related to atomic energy. In prior years, when medicine had an extremely circumscribed, scientific basis, the limited research that existed was conducted by university professors, whereas clinicians pursued their work in a relative scientific vacuum. As biomedical science developed in the 20th century and especially following World War II, with the growth of research within academic health centers and hospitals, the line between basic and applied biomedical research, as defined in the preceding century, became much less relevant.
Over the past 50 years, the growth of funding for biomedical research and the opportunities created by research advances in cell and molecular biology stimulated clinical departments to expand their research operations. This growth was especially robust during periods with clinical financial surpluses and increasing levels of NIH funding. Both M.D. and Ph.D. researchers were recruited into clinical departments, and research techniques used there progressively included approaches similar or identical to those used in basic science departments, such as gene cloning, transgenic animal studies, etc . Whereas, much of this work might also have been situated within traditional basic science departments of medical schools and universities, many hospitals and clinical departments aggressively pursued it as well, although the faculty typically remained associated with departments bearing clinical names. Depending on the school or university, such faculty may or may not also have appointments in basic science departments.
The role of the biotechnology and modern pharmaceutical industries in the historical evolution of biomedical research categorization also warrants comment. With the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act and the explosion of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry interactions with academic institutions, another aspect of basic research must be reconsidered. Scientists who might previously have viewed their work as unrelated to practical outcomes ( e.g. , fundamentals of cloning and eukaryotic gene expression) realized the potential for their discoveries to be applied to human therapeutics, and many of these basic scientists turned their attention aggressively to pursuit of these goals, including moving into the commercial sphere. In this way, another barrier between basic and translational research collapsed. Among faculty in basic science departments who pursue research in cell biology, genetics, or neuroscience, some continue to pay little attention to the practical implications of their work. Others, doing identical or substantially similar work, are constantly on the hunt for the practical implications of their studies that might be patented and exploited, within or outside of the academy, for eventual diagnostic and therapeutic uses. Whereas the former scientists might prefer that their work be described as basic (and devoid of practical use), the latter might proudly describe their (substantially similar) work as having translational or even clinical implications.
In the end, does it matter whether we call some biomedical research basic or translational? If we understand what the particular research is about and grasp its content, context, and implications, probably not. However, current use promotes confusion and hampers efforts to promote scientific understanding and collaborations across our diverse, creative academic biomedical research enterprise. We should clarify or modify the use of these terms and consider a new, cohesive classification nomenclature that realistically reflects the contemporary biomedical research environment. The descriptive analysis of biomedical research should focus on perceived quality as objectively assessed as possible ( 12 ), rather than the promotion of a self-affirming, anachronistic distinction. Perhaps, instead of use of the term basic to describe particular entities of biomedical research, our descriptive terminology should reflect one of the alternate meanings of the term, namely, essential or vital. These terms could apply to all biomedical research that is effective in creating new knowledge, because such research is essential for the growth of the biomedical enterprise for the benefit of society, either directly or remotely. The elimination of the unnecessary distinction between basic and translational biomedical research (and researchers) would improve the effectiveness of the scientific process and its potential benefits for the society to which its practitioners are ultimately obligated.
Discovery is optimall promoted by reliance on talented investigators, whatever their philosophical scientific persuasion ( 13 ). Particularly in an era of big data and interdisciplinary research, a nonhierarchical atmosphere of collegiality and mutual support is required for optimal success. The mandate that all research be framed as offering a potential for translation to clinical benefit is misguided, misleading, and disingenuous. Legislators should be educated about the nature, natural history, and goals of modern biomedical research, wherein anyone with a good idea and the skills necessary to realize it has the potential to add value to the enterprise and benefit to society.
This work was supported, in part, by U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants HL61795, HL119145, and NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences Grant GM 107618 (to J.L.). The authors thank Stephanie Tribuna (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) for expert secretarial assistance.
J. Flier and J. Loscalzo both conceived of the ideas presented, and jointly wrote and edited this article.
New York Tech
Understanding the Latest Advances in Peptide Research
Posted: January 2, 2024 | Last updated: January 2, 2024
In the field of biomedical research, peptides are gaining increasing recognition for their significant role and potential. As smaller and simpler counterparts to proteins, these amino acid chains are essential in numerous biological functions. Recent studies in peptide research have begun to uncover their vast potential, particularly in medical applications. Read on to discover how the latest advances in peptide research are contributing to medical science and offering new possibilities for treating various diseases.
The Evolution of Peptide Synthesis Techniques
Peptide research has been marked by continuous refinement in synthesis techniques. While traditional methods have proven to be effective, they often faced limitations in terms of scalability, purity, and cost. Recent advancements are transcending these boundaries, offering more efficient and economical ways to produce peptides.
Automated solid-phase synthesis techniques are taking the lead in these innovations. A radical improvement over the laborious liquid-phase synthesis, this method allows for the assembly of peptides on a solid support to streamline the process. The precision and speed of this technique have significantly reduced production times and costs, making peptides more accessible for research and therapeutic use.
Another exciting development is the use of recombinant DNA technology in peptide synthesis. By inserting the gene sequence coding for a specific peptide into bacteria or yeast, large quantities of the peptide can be produced through fermentation. This method not only facilitates mass production but also ensures high fidelity in the peptide sequence, crucial for therapeutic applications.
Breakthroughs in Peptide Therapeutics
Peptide therapeutics are heralding a new era in medicine, with their applications spanning across various fields. In oncology, peptides are being used to develop highly specific cancer treatments. For instance, certain peptides can bind selectively to cancer cells, delivering therapeutic agents directly to the tumor, thereby minimizing side effects.
In endocrinology, peptides such as insulin analogs have revolutionized diabetes management. These analogs have been engineered to have altered absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties compared to human insulin, offering more effective blood glucose control.
Peptides also have their uses in cardiology. They are being investigated for their potential in treating heart diseases. Research has shown that some peptides can stimulate the repair and regeneration of heart tissue, offering a novel approach to treat conditions like heart failure.
Peptides in Vaccine Development
Peptides are also making waves in vaccine development, particularly in the fight against infectious diseases. Their ability to mimic specific parts of a virus or bacterium makes them ideal candidates for creating highly targeted vaccines. Unlike traditional vaccines, which often use weakened or inactivated pathogens, peptide-based vaccines use specific parts of the pathogen's protein structure, reducing the risk of side effects.
An example of this innovation is seen in the development of vaccines against complex viruses like HIV, where specific peptides are used to trigger an immune response. These vaccines are still in the research phase but represent a promising approach to tackling such elusive pathogens.
The Role of Peptides in Regenerative Medicine
The application of peptides in regenerative medicine proves just how versatile they are. Research has uncovered peptides' ability to promote tissue regeneration, making them valuable tools in healing injuries and degenerative diseases. For example, certain peptides have been found to stimulate angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, which is crucial for wound healing. They can be purchased by qualified research professional from reputable peptides suppliers such as Peptides UK .
In tissue engineering, peptides are used to create scaffolds that mimic the extracellular matrix, providing a framework for cell growth and tissue development. These scaffolds are not only biocompatible but also biodegradable, aligning seamlessly with the body's natural healing processes.
Diagnostics is another area where peptides are making a significant impact. Their high specificity and binding affinity make them ideal candidates for biomarker development. Peptides can be designed to bind to specific proteins or other molecules associated with diseases, allowing for early and accurate detection.
One notable advancement is in the detection of cancers. Peptides can be engineered to bind to tumor-specific markers, aiding in the early diagnosis of cancer. This approach is not only more sensitive but also less invasive compared to traditional diagnostic methods.
Peptide-based sensors are also being developed to monitor various biomarkers in chronic diseases. For example, peptides that change color in the presence of certain glucose concentrations are being explored for continuous monitoring of diabetes. These innovations promise to improve disease management and patient outcomes significantly.
Environmental Impact and Sustainability in Peptide Research
Alongside their medical applications, the environmental impact and sustainability of peptide synthesis and use have become crucial considerations in recent research. Traditionally, peptide production could be resource-intensive and generate significant chemical waste, raising concerns about its environmental footprint.
However, recent advances are addressing these issues head-on. Green chemistry principles are being increasingly integrated into peptide synthesis, aiming to reduce the use of harmful solvents and energy-intensive processes. Biotechnological methods, such as using microorganisms for peptide production, are proving to be more sustainable alternatives. These methods not only decrease the reliance on chemical synthesis but also offer a more environmentally friendly approach by reducing waste and energy consumption.
The development of biodegradable peptides is a significant step towards sustainability. These peptides are designed to break down into non-toxic byproducts after their intended use, minimizing their environmental impact. This aspect is particularly important in fields like agriculture and material sciences, where peptides are used for purposes ranging from enhancing crop resilience to creating biodegradable materials.
Embracing the Peptide Revolution
After getting acquainted with the many ways in which peptides are transforming medical science, it's clear that we are on the cusp of a new era in healthcare. The advancements in peptide synthesis have made these molecules more accessible than ever, paving the way for groundbreaking therapies and diagnostics.
From creating more effective cancer treatments and vaccines to pioneering new approaches in regenerative medicine and diagnostics, peptides are at the forefront of medical innovation. Despite being in the early stages of research, the potential of peptides in medicine certainly looks promising.
The ongoing developments in peptide research hold immense promise for addressing some of the most challenging health issues facing our world today. It’s essential to continue supporting and investing in this vital field in order to harness the power of peptides in creating a healthier, more hopeful future for all.
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A Guide to the Types of Biological Research
Published on: January 2, 2024
Even if you are keenly interested in biology and life sciences, you may be unfamiliar with the various research branches in these fields and the specific biological research topics that captivate scientists today. After offering some fundamental information about the vital research of biologists, this guide highlights 18 different types of biological research.
Importance of Biological Research
If you’ve ever asked yourself a fundamental question about human, animal or plant life on this planet, a biologist has likely conducted a study to answer it. Few branches of science are broader or more varied than biology — an ancient yet vital scientific discipline that has led human beings to a far greater understanding of life in all its forms. Biology has also enabled us to make tremendous strides in terms of protecting and preserving life.
Fueled by critical scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of DNA structure in the mid-1900s, research in biology has yielded countless medical discoveries that have both improved and saved the lives of countless people. From drug development to disease prevention, significant medical advances would not have come to be without extensive biological research.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of biological research. From supporting environmental conservation and sustainability to the growth of food and management of livestock, few areas of human advancement are left untouched by biologists and their work. The field has even answered many fundamental existential questions by uncovering the theory of evolution and generally advancing our understanding of the natural world.
18 Types of Biological Research
Today’s biology research topics are tackling some of the heaviest that humanity faces, including many that involve our very existence. Read on for brief introductions to fields of research that are shaping the future of biology as we know it.
1. Developmental Biology
Developmental biology focuses on how a life form develops. For example, a developmental biologist might study the ways in which a single-cell embryo divides into an organized group of cells that then become genetically “programmed” at specific stages for purposes and tasks. Although an organism’s DNA dictates much of its development, environmental factors also play a critical role. Beyond basic cellular function and differentiation, developmental biologists work on studies that focus on subjects such as the repair of damaged tissue and the broad clinical uses for stem cells.
2. Evolutionary Biology
Issues connected to molecular mechanisms of DNA are essential to the work of evolutionary biologists as well. However, this discipline is specifically concerned with the transfer of genetic information through generations. In addition to charting the biological adaptation and diversification of life throughout history and pre-history, evolutionary biology investigates the origin of life on Earth.
3. Computational Biology
Also known as “bioinformatics,” computational biology bridges the gap between biology and digital technology by developing and applying computational methods and software tools to analyze massive sets of biological information. The effective handling of big data can prove helpful when it comes to identifying and analyzing complex biological factors that range from genetic sequences to organism populations. To make accurate predictions and determine outcomes, computational biologists often use mathematical modeling and computer simulations.
4. Cellular Biology
True to its name, cellular biology concentrates on the cell as the fundamental unit of functional life on this planet. Cellular biology research may concern any or all aspects of cell anatomy and cell processes that range from respiration to mitotic and meiotic division. It is important to note that cellular biology, like many of the biology research specializations on this list, doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In fact, cellular biologists might perform research that involves genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology and numerous other related areas of study.
Like the vast majority of living things, human beings possess immune systems that protect us from pathogens as well as other foreign entities and substances that might enter our bodies and threaten our health. These immune systems are both innate (organisms are born with immune systems) and adaptive (immune systems respond to meet the changing needs of the organism). Medical Life Sciences News defines immunology as the branch of biological science that studies the body’s ability to recognize “what is self and what is not.” This recognition allows the body to attack pathogens to preserve its vital internal structures and processes. Some research in the field of immunology examines what happens when the body mistakes healthy cells for foreign invaders.
Whereas many branches of biological research look inward to study structures and processes within the organism, ecological research examines how living things function within their environments and interact with various environmental stimuli. Ecological researchers ask questions such as, “What is the relationship between organisms and their habitats?” and “What environmental elements allow different organisms to not only survive but also thrive?”
Succinctly defined by the Biophysical Society , biophysics is “the field that applies the theories and methods of physics to understand how biological systems work.” Furthermore, the field of biophysics bridges the gap between physics and diverse subbranches of biological study. Research projects in biophysics might investigate how molecules essential to life develop; how the various components of a cell interact; and how immune, nervous, circulatory and other bodily systems function. Beyond biology and physics, biophysical researchers may draw upon any number of other scientific disciplines including mathematics, engineering, chemistry and materials science.
Another biological field that intersects and overlaps with many others, physiology studies the mechanisms and functionality of living things. To better understand these mechanisms and their functions, physiological researchers commonly examine how component parts, such as organs and cells, operate internally and interact with one another. Although the technology and methodology used to conduct physiological study has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, this branch of science is among the oldest in the field of biology. In fact, the origins of physiology have been traced back to 420 BC or earlier.
As its name implies, biochemistry focuses on the intersection of biology and chemistry, specifically the chemical processes that occur within living things. Commonly conducted in a laboratory setting, biochemical researchers study the composition and structure of chemicals within organisms as well as the ways in which these chemicals react with one another, affect, and drive different biological processes. By optimizing healthy chemical reactions and correcting unhealthy ones, experts in this field can apply their research to a wide range of medical issues.
While most people understand that microbiologists conduct biological research at the microscopic level, fewer realize that they actually study microbes. Otherwise known as “microorganisms,” microbes are living organisms that are too small to see with the unaided eye. They include viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, prions and archaea. As the immunologist knows all too well, many microbes can prove dangerous and even fatal when they enter the human body. By identifying and analyzing these pathogens at the molecular level, microbiologists can develop ways to combat them. The Microbiology Society also lists “the manufacture of biofuels, cleaning up pollution and producing/processing food and drink” among microbiology’s most promising and effective applications.
Simply put, entomology is the study of insects. Although they are just one of four classes of arthropods (animals with exoskeletons), insects are tremendously important to human beings for a variety of reasons. A large concentration of research goes into controlling the harmful effects of insects in terms of food production and disease prevention. The Insecta class is also worth studying for its sheer size; the number of insects on the planet today far exceeds that of any other type of living thing. Though there are likely many insects left to be discovered, scientists have documented more than a million insect species to date. This means that insects alone comprise roughly 40 percent of all living species known to exist.
12. Structural Biology
Structural biology examines the structure, assembly, function and interaction of biological molecules. It is generally concerned with proteins because this particular class of molecules is so prevalent in living things, especially animals. For this reason, proteomics (the study of the biological proteins) comprises a great proportion of the structural biologist’s work. Many structural biology studies concentrate on identifying and addressing misshapen protein molecules that might lead to disease.
Because it provides a “blueprint” for building the molecules that comprise all life on Earth, DNA is essential in nearly all fields of biological study. As the study of genes and heredity, genetics examines the ways in which certain characteristics in living things pass through generations from parents to offspring. Genetic mutations can cause both dramatic improvements and dangerous deficits in the overall health and well-being of an organism. Genetic research can do everything from determining a person’s likelihood of developing a specific disease to creating therapeutic remedies for that disease.
Genomics is closely related to the field of genetics and often considered one of its subfields. But while classical genetics tends to study a single gene or gene expression at a time, genomics studies the genomes of organisms in their entirety. This was impossible before the advent of modern genome mapping technologies and techniques such as those employed by the Human Genome Project , which identified the precise order of the 3 billion DNA subunits that comprise the human genome.
Although zoologists often study human beings as part of the larger animal kingdom, they primarily study non-human animals, both domestic and wild. Zoology researchers might conduct wildlife studies for government agencies or nonprofit organizations. With specialized clinical training, these professionals can also conduct crucial veterinary research.
16. Marine Biology
You probably already knew that marine biologists deal with the underwater world — but did you know their areas of expertise are restricted to life in oceans and other saltwater environments? Although it doesn’t cover freshwater animals, if you want to “do a deep dive” on sea life, marine biology research may be the path for you. It is a rich and multifaceted field that can allow you to focus on specializations ranging from marine ecology to fishery science.
Just as the zoologist studies the animal kingdom, the botanist studies the plant kingdom. An equally wide and varied field, botany encompasses all aspects of plant life study including (per Biology Online ), “morphology, anatomy, cell biology (branch dealing with plant cells), molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology (deals with phenomena related to plant growth), economic and ethnic aspects, taxonomy, environmental science, genetics, genomics, etc.”
18. Molecular Biology
A close cousin to structural biology and biochemistry, molecular biology examines the molecular basis for biological activity. Because all matter and living things are made of molecules, the molecular biologist can learn a great deal about living things by studying their molecules and how they interact. Most molecular biology studies concentrate on the molecules in proteins and genes.
Pursuing a Career in Biological Research
If you are interested in research topics in biology or training to become a biological researcher, a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology is an excellent place to start. The BS in Biology program at Park University lays a solid foundation in biological research methods, techniques and instrumentation. Additionally, this program provides specialized study in botany, zoology, cellular biology, microbiology, physiology, genetics, ecology and other fields that made our list above.
To communicate directly with a Park University representative about the bachelor’s in biology or any other degree program, visit our official website to fill out a short online request form .
Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .
Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.
New health research agency shoots for the moon
The director and the coo of arpa-h explain how it will assess markets, streamline research, and build public-private networks to fuel biomedical breakthroughs..
Renee Wegrzyn: There needs to be a place in the health ecosystem that allows us to take these really big bets in health research. ARPA-H is intended to be an agency for the next moonshots, and not predetermined to be aligned with a specific disease or technology. We ask, “Where could the U.S. government investment asymmetrically advance the state of the art and improve health outcomes?”
What industry does really well is think about and design for the customer, to make sure that somebody actually wants to adopt these new technologies, products, and processes. We’re making sure we have very clear ways to engage our customers, whether those customers are patients or health care providers. We need to iteratively collect their feedback throughout the course of a program, from the initial design to understanding the marketplace. Is there someplace for this product?
That innovation gap — from the lab to a startup company to [getting a product to] the real world — that’s so hard to do. We want to make sure we are contributing to building that transition community for the health ecosystem.
Joe Shonkwiler: When I joined [the agency], what really struck me was how Renee and the rest of the folks that were formulating that strategy, how familiar it was from what I had seen in my formative years in academic medicine. It’s problem focused. It is based on a hole out there in the ecosystem for these innovations in a way that I hadn’t seen in my mix of public-private sector experiences. I think it’s driven a lot of the interest within the academic medical community because they see how these problems could be solved with this new model.
How will ARPA-H projects differ from the way research projects are typically done?
Wegrzyn: We are not a top-down organization. I don’t set the agenda; Joe doesn’t set the agenda. Instead, we look to hire program managers who launch and oversee specific projects. They could be doctors; they could be technologists. They come to us with a specific problem in health care that they want to solve. If we’re excited about how they framed this well-defined problem, and they have insights into how it could be solved, we hire those folks and we give them a team.
[Note: these are full-time positions for which program managers leave their previous jobs. ARPA-H provides details about the positions .]
We have four program managers who are MDs. They’re practicing doctors, and they’ve encountered something [a health care challenge] where they’re not satisfied with the status quo. They see this opportunity to break through whatever barrier they’re facing to try to change the paradigm. Our jobs are to make sure we’re breaking down those walls and letting them focus on those programs.
Can you describe a couple of projects to illustrate how research is being selected and carried out differently, and what kind of difference that’s going to make?
Shonkwiler: Precision Surgical Intervention (PSI). The what-if question is, “What if surgeries fix problems flawlessly the first time?” It addresses two major surgical problems: tumor edge visualization and critical anatomy visualization. I was a surgical resident, and this one is near and dear to my heart.
The idea that you would use cutting-edge technologies to help distinguish between healthy and unhealthy tissue, or cancer and noncancerous tissue — that’s using technology to give surgeons a superpower. It has the potential to shift the whole landscape for what you can do intraoperatively, doing surgery the first time — and, hopefully, the last time — for cancers and other issues.
That program [PSI] is a case study in the ARPA-H approach. It incorporates a well-defined problem with clinical relevance for patients and for physicians of various specialties. It’s disease-agnostic. And it will incorporate the best in class for research and industry to make it a reality.
Can you tell us about another initiative , Advancing Clinical Trial Readiness [ACTR], and how that illustrates what ARPA-H brings to the process? As I understand it, ACTR will use a nationwide network of organizations in health care — through the ARPANET-H Health Innovation Network — to expand clinical trials to reach people in communities where they live and diversify clinical trial participation.
Wegrzyn: We have a “what if?” statement for ACTR: “What if 90% of all Americans were within 30 minutes of a clinical trial?”
There is going to be a clinical trial network. By working with a diverse array of institutions, we can get closer to the customers, whether they’re in rural settings or urban settings.
These programs are short-lived. ARPA-H funds its programs for three to six years. So rather than stand up clinical trials, shut them down, stand them up, shut them down, we’ll create a network so that we can continue to build these relationships with hospitals and clinicians and institutions. This sustained infrastructure can be used to carry on programs that start at ARPA-H. [Note: Other clinical trials will be able to use the network, which is being developed under the Advancing Clinical Trial Readiness Initiative .]
Also, we’ve established a very simple contracting mechanism. We heard loud and clear from the research community that it’s very hard to navigate the application process. Especially these little community labs; they don’t have a grant writing department. We’re trying to make it very simple to help them enroll in trials. There will be efficiencies involving the institutional review boards that protect the rights of patients in clinical trials and patient consent to participate in trials.
AAMC: What will success look like? How long is success going to take and how do you measure it?
Wegrzyn: With most projects at DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is a model for ARPA-H — it’s 10 to 15 years until you really see the applied outcomes. So it’s important that we set milestones on these projects. One year from now, two years from now, how do you know that you’re moving along the right path?
To use the example of enrolling for a clinical trial, we might not have the results of that trial, but if we can demonstrate the patient enrollment reflects the demographics of people affected by the disease, that could be an early indicator that we’re on the right track.
Success for us is also teeing up downstream funding on these efforts, to get discoveries out into the real world. Somebody needs to pay for that.
Keep an eye out next year for some announcements of shorter-term impact. I’ll flag DIGIHEALS [Digital Health Security]. This is a cybersecurity effort — everything from protecting devices that may have cyber vulnerabilities all the way to preventing ransomware. There are going to be some early wins from that program, because there are solutions that we can help accelerate and advance.
Is there anything else you would like to tell professionals in medical education, research, or patient care?
Wegrzyn: If there’s somebody who’s really passionate about a specific problem, and they haven’t figured out a way to solve it in their current role or in the private sector or the public sector, we would love to hear from them. The application to be a program manager is a really simple form. We want to hear about you and your idea.
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Materials Chemistry Frontiers
Research advances and applications of zif-90 metal–organic framework nanoparticles in the biomedical field.
* Corresponding authors
a School of Pharmacy, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110016, China E-mail: [email protected]
In recent years, metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have been widely used in the field of pharmaceuticals, and their stable structure and chemical properties have shown great potential in applications requiring drug delivery carriers. ZIF-90, as a new type of MOF, has gradually attracted more attention in the field of biological medicine. ZIF-90 has the advantages of a large specific surface area, a uniform pore structure, and good biocompatibility. Importantly, the specific pH/ATP sensitivity and mitochondrial targeting provide an opportunity for it to become an intelligent drug delivery system. But unfortunately, there are few specialized reviews with a focus on ZIF-90. This article not only summarizes the structure, characterization, synthesis and biosecurity of ZIF-90, but also discusses the research progress using it as a therapeutic platform in anticancer therapy, biomedical imaging and other therapies for different diseases, over the past five years. In addition, the remaining challenges and future opportunities have also been evaluated. It is hoped that this review can provide a foundation for broadening the application of ZIF-90 in the clinical treatment, prevention and diagnosis of diseases.
- This article is part of the themed collections: 2023 Materials Chemistry Frontiers Review-type Articles and 2023 Materials Chemistry Frontiers HOT articles
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S. Chen, H. Pang, J. Sun and K. Li, Mater. Chem. Front. , 2024, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D3QM01020A
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17 Incredible Facts About Triumph Tiger 900 GT 2024
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40 facts about elektrostal.
Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023
Published: 22 Jul 2023
Modified: 08 Sep 2023
Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.
This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.
So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.
Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”
Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.
Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.
Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.
Boasts a rich industrial heritage.
Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.
Founded in 1916.
The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.
Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.
Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.
Known for its vibrant cultural scene.
Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.
A popular destination for nature lovers.
Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.
Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.
Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.
Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.
Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.
Boasts excellent education facilities.
The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.
A center for scientific research and innovation.
Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.
Surrounded by picturesque lakes.
The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.
Well-connected transportation system.
Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.
Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.
Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.
Home to notable architectural landmarks.
Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.
Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.
Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.
Provides a high standard of healthcare.
Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.
Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.
The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.
A hub for sports enthusiasts.
Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.
Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.
Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.
Electric power played a significant role in its early development.
Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.
Boasts a thriving economy.
The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.
Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.
The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.
Popular destination for winter sports.
Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.
Promotes environmental sustainability.
Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.
Home to renowned educational institutions.
Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.
Committed to cultural preservation.
The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.
Hosts an annual International Film Festival.
The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.
Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.
Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.
Offers a range of housing options.
Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.
Home to notable sports teams.
Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.
Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.
Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.
Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.
Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.
Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.
Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.
Commemorates historical events.
The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.
Promotes sports and youth development.
Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.
Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.
Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.
Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.
The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.
Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.
The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.
A city with a bright future.
Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.
In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.
Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?
A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.
Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?
A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.
Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?
A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.
Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?
A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.
Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?
A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.
Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?
A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.
Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?
A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.
Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?
A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.
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Rosatom starts production of rare-earth magnets for wind power generation.
TVEL Fuel Company of Russian Rosatom has started gradual localization of rare-earth magnets manufacturing for wind power plants generators. The first sets of magnets have been manufactured and shipped to the customer.
In total, the contract between Elemash Magnit LLC (an enterprise of TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom in Elektrostal, Moscow region) and Red Wind B.V. (a joint venture of NovaWind JSC and the Dutch company Lagerwey) foresees manufacturing and supply over 200 sets of magnets. One set is designed to produce one power generator.
“The project includes gradual localization of magnets manufacturing in Russia, decreasing dependence on imports. We consider production of magnets as a promising sector for TVEL’s metallurgical business development. In this regard, our company does have the relevant research and technological expertise for creation of Russia’s first large-scale full cycle production of permanent rare-earth magnets,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.
“NovaWind, as the nuclear industry integrator for wind power projects, not only made-up an efficient supply chain, but also contributed to the development of inter-divisional cooperation and new expertise of Rosatom enterprises. TVEL has mastered a unique technology for the production of magnets for wind turbine generators. These technologies will be undoubtedly in demand in other areas as well,” noted Alexander Korchagin, Director General of NovaWind JSC.
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