Goals and Perspectives
In the world of life sciences, identifying a molecule is “one- dimensional”, localizing the molecule in a tissue preparation is “two- dimensional” and finding the molecule in a cell is “three-dimensional”. However, "Real" Physiology (i.e. the molecule in its environment) will remain hidden as long as “time” is not seriously considered.
Life sciences have arrived at a stage where molecules cannot be only identified but also localized in the cell (space). It is time to start switching the focus from qualification (identifying the molecule as such), quantification (measuring molecule concentrations), localization (identifying the space where the molecule resides) to timing (how a molecule acts in reference to time). If “time” is the supreme scaling parameter, then scientists will view their projects from a modified angle. They will not only ask for example “where in the organism does a certain molecule act” but would put more emphasis on the questions “when does the molecule start to act, how long does it act, when does the organism change its function and for how long”?
Recent technical advancements in the Bioscienses, in particular Nanotechnology and High Resolution Functional Microscopy, form the basis of a novel strategy aiming at the temporal dimension of physiological processes.
Nowadays medical students are flooded by knowledge not only in the clinical disciplines but also in Medical Physiology. Therefore, it is of eminent importance to distinguish between "basic knowledge" that helps to solve problems in medicine and "specialized knowledge" that can be more easily looked up in textbooks. In practical courses, seminars and lectures we try to communicate this "basic knowledge" on Medical Physiology to our students. Since the institute's staff is a mixture of individuals with different background education (medical doctors, chemists, biologists, pharmacists, biophysicists), there is a good chance that our common denominator is essentially "Basics in Medical Physiology".
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