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From the editor's desk.

This past October, I had the privilege of attending a conference organized by the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and was pleased to learn that the NIH was putting through a motion to move forward on interdisciplinary research.

You may ask, what does this mean? Biomedical research traditionally has been organized much like a series of cottage industries, lumping researchers into broad areas of scientific interest and then grouping them into distinct, departmentally--based specialties. But, as science has advanced over the past decade and the molecular secrets of life have become more accessible, two fundamental themes are apparent: the study of human biology and behavior is a wonderfully dynamic process, and the traditional divisions within biomedical research may, in some instances, impede the pace of scientific discovery.

Interdisciplinary research integrates the analytical strengths of two or more often-disparate scientific disciplines to solve a given biological problem. For instance, behavioral scientists, molecular biologists, and mathematicians might combine their research tools, approaches, and technologies to more powerfully solve the puzzles of complex health problems such as pain and obesity. By engaging seemingly unrelated disciplines, traditional gaps in terminology, approach, and methodology might be gradually eliminated. With roadblocks to potential collaboration removed, a true meeting of minds can take place: one that broadens the scope of investigation into biomedical problems, yields fresh and possibly unexpected insights, and may even give birth to new hybrid disciplines that are more analytically sophisticated.

The NIH is developing roadmap initiatives to reduce the barriers and establish a series of awards that make it easier for scientists to conduct interdisciplinary research. These new awards include funding for training of scientists in interdisciplinary strategies, creation of specialized centers to help scientists forge new and more advanced disciplines from existing ones, and planning of forward -looking conferences to catalyze collaboration among the life and physical sciences, important areas of research that historically have had limited interaction.

By establishing new awards aimed at building interdisciplinary research teams, NIH hopes to help accelerate research on diseases of interest to all of its components with an eye toward improving the nation's public health. For more information on the NIH motion to advance interdisciplinary research, you may visit the following website: www.nihroadmap.nih.gov.

In reading the great advancements made by NIH concerning interdisciplinary research, I could not help but think that similar efforts initiated by centers like ours has helped to bring this notion to the forefront, making the scientific community aware of the important role that communication among scientists plays in promoting interdisciplinary research and advancing science. In addition to Frontier Perspectives, which included many articles on interdisciplinary scientific research, the Center has hosted many symposia and conferences that have brought about interdisciplinary collaboration.

Among the many fine articles that appear in this issue is Einstein and the Electron by Milo Wolff and Geoff Haselhurst. The authors state that Einstein viewed the electron as a leading player in the universe, because most activity of the universe is electromagnetic energy transfers between electrons. They bring to light the fact that Einstein was greatly concerned about the electron because he felt that the answer to his question might have a world-wide impact on industry, medicine, our lives, and human affairs- as well as science and the universe. This article reveals that his intuition was right, as well as that of other pioneer scientists of the electron.

Claudio Maccone, who is associated with the International Astronautics Academy in Italy, provides us with an interesting article, A Mathematical "Cubic Law of Recovery": Part 1--Applications to History of Astronomy, SETI and Modern Europe, where he states that real scientific progress stems out of a profound mathematical understanding of facts. This paper attempts to understand mathematically the histories of Astronomy, SETI, and other historical examples taken from "Interstellar Migrations".

Attila Grandpierre's article, Entropy and Information of Human Organisms and the Nature of Life, points out how the calculated dynamic information flow of human organisms is related to the principle nature of life. This paper attempts to shed light on the nature of organization, entropic conditions, and the source of information present between the microscopic and macroscopic levels in the case of living organisms.

Injury and Death in the Embryo Model of Biological Self Organization by Oscar D. Bustuoabad and Julio E. Correa, proposes an embryonic model for biological self- organization, which is based on multicellular dynamics and characterized by continued intercellular interactions that challenges morphostasis by producing cellular damage and death.

Our News and Views section features articles on various topics. Nadim Sradj addresses a disease that is on the rise, which is age-related macular degeneration. Amrit Sorli and Kusum Sorli discuss the issue that evolution of life is a continuation of the evolution of the universe. David Schwerin's article brings forth a consciousness perspective on economic management and responsibility. These topics bring about deep thought and encourage a healthy dialogue.

A piece of good news that I would like to share with you is the fact that the Center's book, Quo Vadis Quantum Mechanics?, is available and you may visit the Springer Verlag website, www.springerverlag.com, for more information. It consists of papers by two Nobel Laureates and four Nobel candidates, among other distinguished contributors, on the topic of quantum mechanics. This book identifies the benefits of scientific collaboration. With this new collaboration between the Center for Frontier Sciences and Springer Verlag, one of the leading scientific publishing houses, representing the elite of contemporary science, the Center marks a new stage in its development. We look forward to hosting future international conferences, books and other projects, aimed at increasing knowledge and advancing science for the benefit of society in the 21st century.

I would like to take this opportunity to first, and foremost wish you and yours a Peaceful and Happy New Year. I encourage you to support our Center by means of an annual subscription to our journal and by having your colleagues do the same. I also welcome you to submit papers for publication in Frontier Perspectives. It is through your support that we are able to carryout our mission in networking scientific information to advance science for the benefit of society.

Nancy Kolenda,

Executive Editor
COPYRIGHT 2004 Temple University - of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, through its Center for Frontier Sciences
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kolenda, Nancy
Publication:Frontier Perspectives
Date:Mar 22, 2004
Words:1041
Previous Article:Dr. Herman P. Schwan.
Next Article:On the pure consciousness.


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