BioScience Trends. 2007;1(1):2.
Riggs AD Co-Editor-in-Chief
It gives me great pleasure to introduce this inaugural issue of BioScience Trends to the worldwide scientific community. It is the hope of the editors that this new journal will provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas at the interface of biological and biochemical sciences and current clinical practice. Rapid improvements in biotechnology, completion of the various genome projects, and advances in proteomics and information sciences have propelled an information explosion of potentially unlimited benefit to biomedicine. The fervent hope is that these novel advances in basic biological sciences will translate into new and more efficacious medicines for the benefit of all humankind. I have always held as an organizing principle for my own work that basic researchers should be informed about, and concerned about, human problems, including human disease. This was a major motivation behind our earlier efforts in the development of recombinant insulin and methods for the generation of humanized antibodies. Although it may seem more obvious now through the lens of modern experience, the power of basic research to tackle problems of immediate clinical relevance was not always appreciated. When Keiichi Itakura and I initially applied in 1976 to the United States National Institutes of Health for funding to express human proteins (somatostatin and then insulin) in bacteria using synthetic genes, our proposal was dismissed with the written critique including comments such as: “…the only possible outcome of this work would be to confirm that these manipulations can lead to the synthesis of a human peptide in E. coli. …. this appears as an academic exercise.” It is with this past history in mind that we welcome the arrival of BioScience Trends as an international medium to raise awareness of relevant clinical problems to the contemporary bench scientist, while simultaneously allowing the practicing clinician to keep abreast of relevant progress and discoveries in basic biology. It is our hope that this new resource will help foster the kind of interdisciplinary dialogue necessary to streamline the transition of discoveries at the basic research level to the realm of disease prevention and treatment, and to bring the promise of truly translational medicine to fruition.