Over the last 25 years there has been a large increase in the number of students proceeding to university but this has been accompanied by a substantial decrease in the funding provided per student. Change in teaching provision has been accompanied by a narrowing of biological sciences research, which has become increasingly focussed on the more biomedical aspects of the subject, resulting in a consequential narrowing in the scope of biological science subjects taught in universities, both in the UK and worldwide.
These changes in biological sciences teaching and research have been encouraged by several features. Universities have sought economies of scale by merging Biological Science departments. Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, pp. This reduction in the scope of biological sciences teaching intensified as many staff in traditional areas of biology, for example, taxonomy and ecology, failed to appreciate the importance of molecular biology and the influence it would have on their subject areas.
Indeed, in the s some biological science staff viewed molecular biology as a self-contained discipline that had little or no relevance to their work.
Unfortunately, many mycologists were among those who held this view. So, one purpose of the present text is to dispel lingering doubts about the importance of molecular biology to all aspects of mycology by illustrating from the start how the molecule-level perspective improves our understanding of fungi. Inevitably, the natural importance that governments attach to health care has caused funding bodies to focus support on biomedical research at the expense of other areas of the subject, including mycology.
During the latter part of the twentieth century, reduced funding for biological science teaching and channelling of funding to biomedical research strongly influenced the way in which universities redeveloped their Biological Science Departments. Today, some such Departments largely serve the perceived needs of teaching and research in Medicine, that is, they mainly support or underpin medical activities.
In our opinion, this type of interdepartmental relationship is unlikely to generate high-quality research in either biological sciences or medicine. Would the research of George Beadle and Edward Tatum, working with Neurospora crassa, or Paul Nurse, working with Schizosaccharomyces pombe or Lee Hartwell who worked with Saccharomyces cerevisiae flourish in such an environment?
When Beadle and Tatum, and Nurse and Hartwell initiated the research that eventually resulted in their becoming Nobel Laureates, they were almost certainly unaware of the relevance of their work to medicine.
It is our view that, although Biological Sciences and Medical Departments should collaborate closely, each should be independent of the other, and, to a greater or lesser extent, each should foster all aspects of its subject area. In view of all this, an underlying purpose of this website is to emphasise the broad importance of fungi to humans and the economy. Every hour of our day depends on the activities of fungi.
Molecular Biology and its Application to Medical Mycology : Bruno Maresca :
The feature which has figured most in our decision to write on this topic is that although fungi comprise what is arguably the most crucial Kingdom of organisms on the planet, these organisms are often bypassed and ignored by the majority of biologists. Faruk Bozoglu. Umberto Eco. Elliott M.
Martin Morad. Richard James.
Fiorella Lo Schiavo. Laszlo Urban. Ludwig Heilmeyer. Salome S. Nuri Akkas.
David B. Judith E.
Brian Thomas. Regis Mache. Jos A. Op Den Kamp. Professor Lucio G.
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