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The Treacherous Waters of Translational Science

The US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins took the stage at TedMed — first with guitar in hand — to discuss the harzardous waters of translational medicine, reports The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog. Collins told the crowd that there is a gulf between basic and applied science, and that translational science isn't a bridge, but "more like a swimmer, a sailboat and a tugboat all attempting to cross the water. There are sharks and other obstacles in the water, causing the swimmer to die, the sailboat to capsize and the tugboat to run aground," the Health Blog reports. To move drug development forward, Collins said that pharmaceutical companies should look to their freezers to repurpose what's already there. The Health Blog adds that the main issue there is intellectual property, but says NIH is working with companies to draft an agreement to that end.