Illustration: ©2002 Ned Shaw

Editor's Note: With the gift-giving season upon us, The Scientist wanted to know what today's life scientists would be most grateful to receive this holiday season. We queried researchers throughout the world for ways to push life sciences to the next level, whatever that level might be. The final list has eight interrelated items.

KNOWLEDGE INTEGRATION One of the most commonly expressed wishes was the desire for broader integration of knowledge among disciplines. As Werner Dubitzky, school of biomedical sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, puts it, "There is a growing need to integrate 'vertical' disciplines in the life sciences, ranging from the physical to the biochemical, all the way up to the neuroscience and cognitive science levels."

Today, the life sciences could be said to be on a meat-and-potatoes diet; integration would add some much-needed variety to the menu. The result would be...

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