Chemical engineers and biologists say that collaborations between their disparate disciplines are beginning to bear some valuable fruit, not just in the applied field of biotechnology, but also in understanding basic cellular mechanisms. Yet those who are currently working at this cross-disciplinary interface say the challenge today is to get these two scientific cultures to interact.

One way to bridge such a gulf is to have a meeting and invite interested members from each discipline to attend--which is exactly what has recently happened. "Research Opportunities in Biomolecular Engineering: The Interface Between Chemical Engineering and Biology" was convened in Washington, D.C., on December 7-8, under the auspices of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Says George Georgiou, a chemical engineer at the University of Texas, Austin, who co- chaired the meeting: "The idea of the meeting, in my mind, was to make more people aware of the interface that...

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