Editor's Note: This first part of a two-part series charts the shared ground between research into alternative medical therapies and basic biomedical research. Increasingly, researchers are using powerful cellular and molecular tools to uncover biochemical pathways that may, for example, explain increasingly evident mind-body connections in health and illness. The second part, to appear in the March 21 issue, will explore efforts to bring rigorous methodologies to alternative medicine and the roles being played by private foundations and medical schools in promoting new collaborations between alternative and establishment medicine.

Despite tight budgeting in many sectors of biomedical research, the fledgling Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the National Institutes of Health recently learned it is slated for a big financial uplift.

In each of its first two years of existence, 1992 and 1993, the office received $2 million; for fiscal year 1994, however, President Bill Clinton requested and received $3.5...

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