Editor's Note: This second part of a two-part series looks at researchers' efforts to establish rigorous methodologies to investigate alternative medical therapies. There are signs that tomorrow's medicine may be quite changed from today's, with medical schools now adding novel courses to their curricula, private funders helping establish new directions for biomedical investigations, and the United States searching for cost-effective health-care reforms. The first part of this series, which appeared in the March 7 issue, charted the ground shared by basic biomedical research and alternative medicine and the emerging synergy between the two.
At the National Institutes of Health on July 11-13, the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) will hold its first technology assessment conference. One of the primary goals of the conferees will be to begin development of research methodologies appropriate to the study of such treatment approaches as traditional Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and therapeutic touch, according to...

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