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Thread: Basic Science vs. Applied Research vs. Clinical Research

  1. #1

    Basic Science vs. Applied Research vs. Clinical Research

    What are the differences in the three? Specifically Applied vs. Clinical? I would guess Basic Sience is working with the cells in a lab, Applied Research is using the Basic Science in Animal Studies, and Clinical Research is testing things in humans.

    How far off am I?

    -Steven

  2. #2
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    Applied could be the same as clincial if you are working in a Veterniary School!

  3. #3
    Basic science implies that the research is uncovering basic knowledge without application. Applied research usually means that it is research on an application of science. Clinical research implies that the work is being done on humans (or animals, I suppose, if you are a veterinarian).

    There is, unfortunately, a pejorative stigma attached to being an "applied" scientist, giving the connotation of being not really a scientist. I think that really good basic science has applications and that really good applied science yields important basic knowledge. The important distinction is not whether science is basic or applied but whether it is good or bad science.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Allrighty, thanks for the distinction. Just to make sure, experiments on animals [eg, ESC application to promote recovery] would be applied research?

    -Steven

  5. #5
    Senior Member giambjj's Avatar
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    Not if your goal is to get the injuried animal (your pet) to walk again!

  6. #6
    Steven, I suppose that studies using embryonic stem cells to restore function can be called applied rather than basic research. On the other hand, I can imagine several ways in which the research could be basic rather than applied. For example, a researcher may be interested in the mechanisms of recovery in and of itself, not as an clinical application but as a means of understanding cellular behavior. In such a case, it could be basic research.

    In general, applied research suggests that the scientist is not necessarily interested in the mechanisms but rather in the outcome. The hypotheses that drive the experiments would be different if it were basic versus applied.

    Wise.

  7. #7
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    You know what bothers me?

    A friend of mine was hurt....in a car accident. A lumbar injury. He went to Ecuador to get Dr. Kao's surgery.

    A writeup in the newspaper referred to the surgery as "experimental." i don't understand this. Dr. Kao doesn't publish results of his patients and their progress.

    If there is no published data, is the procedure really an experiment? Or is it clinical?

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