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April 1985

On Science, Scaling, and Support

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(4):465-467. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660040049009

Our immediate past, the present, and the shortterm future will undoubtedly be recorded as the years during which new scientific knowledge revolutionized the approach to biology and pathology in man. Nowhere is this revolution more evident than in the skin and its disease. It is fewer than ten years since the development of techniques for the culture of dispersed mammalian epidermal cells, techniques which are being applied to patients with burns and ulcers.1-3 Fewer than five years have elapsed since we first learned that epidermal cells have a cytoskeleton of which keratin intermediate filaments are a major constituent. Keratin, in fact, is the intermediate filament of the cytoskeleton in essentially all epithelial cells of the body.4,5

SCIENCE  Our previous concepts of keratin and keratinization have faded into dermatologic ancient history as we have witnessed the studies of the past three or four years indicating that keratins are a