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Research Field Microbiology, Immunology

Breaking Down Walls

Research science is composed of two branches. “Pure” or fundamental science seeks to advance our knowledge and understanding of the unknown. Applied science attempts to translate this knowledge into a developed product. In short, pure science builds a foundation of knowledge that can fuel applied research.

Without a deepening understanding of complex biological systems, we are greatly limited by the applications that we can develop from them. Think of it like trying to build a house: pure science research equates to learning a construction technique (or, perhaps closer to the truth, realizing that bricks exist), whereas applied science is the building itself. If we know how to lay bricks, we might get something that resembles a wall – but what about the roof, the electricity supply, plumbing, doors, windows…? Only when we understand multiple construction techniques (and are aware of all essential materials) are we able to build something more complete – and more useful. 

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About the Author

Danny Ward

PhD student at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. His research is funded by the UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership.

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