Many of the findings of the Academies’ study regarding the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering now pertain to the biological sciences as well. This is a particularly significant development given the evolving interdependency among disciplines—wherein, for example, automotive fuels and plastics are now being made using biological processes, and biocomputing (the use of biological molecules to perform computational calculations) is in the early research stage. Also, there is a critical need for physicists and mathematicians to help mine the vast seas of data coming from genome studies being done to understand the development and treatment of cancers and other diseases. During the past century life expectancy in America has increased by over 50 percent due in substantial part to advances in the health sciences—indicating the impact of various types of innovation.3


NAS-NAE-IOM, 2007, p. 51.

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