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May 24, 1976

Medical News

JAMA. 1976;235(21):2271-2279. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260470003001

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Basic research remains essential to medical progress, Nobelist says  Basic research, says a Nobel laureate (looking back at what has happened and ahead to what may happen on the frontiers of medical science), "is the lifeline of medicine and must be our first priority."Nobelist Arthur Kornberg, MD, Stanford University, expressed dismay that an issue he regards as "the most important of all" fails to get more attention in discussions of health care. That issue? "It is the inadequacy of available knowledge for prevention and cure of disease."Dr Kornberg recalls his student and intern days in Rochester 40 years ago: "More than 10% of each of our medical classes dropped out because of tuberculosis and some never came back. The wards were filled with acute nephritis, rheumatic fever, and lobar pneumonia. Subacute bacterial endocarditis was fatal. Polio was an annual terror. We quickly forget these scourges of bygone