As investigative tools become more numerous and complex, and specialized knowledge increases, there arises the hazard that the clinician may lose touch with developments in the basic sciences. Moreover, the physiologist or biochemist may fail to seek those clues to the resolution of basic problems which observation of the sick patient often provides. Therefore, in considering the contributions of basic science to clinical medicine we should recall that the flow of stimuli between these disciplines is not unidirectional; each flourishes in the environment of the other. Thus, while the diagnosis and treatment of disease increasingly rest upon a sound assessment of pathologic physiology, clinical observation continues to serve as a catalyst for the growth of basic insights. Nowhere is this interplay better illustrated than in the evolution of clinical thyroidology. Thus, for example, the basic sciences have furnished powerful goitrogenic agents for the control of thyrotoxicosis. On the other hand,
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