Frontiers in Physiology is pleased to announce the launch of a new section, Embryonic and Developmental Physiology. Associate Professor Tim Moss of Monash University, Australia and The Ritchie Centre at Hudson Institute of Medical Research is leading the section as Specialty Chief Editor.
Researchers from the field of embryonic and developmental physiology have been instrumental in showing how the environment before birth can have lasting effects on the body’s structure and function. This has demonstrated the clear relevance of the field to improving life-long health and well-being. A/Prof Moss says the pursuit of fundamental knowledge is often overlooked but it has been critically important to major achievements by researchers in the discipline. He urges the community to maintain their efforts to increase knowledge and resist the distraction of the ‘next big thing’.
A leader in the field of perinatology, A/Prof Moss’ own research focusses on the health of newborns after exposure to infection or inflammation during their development in utero; to this end, his research group are exploring the prevention and treatment of inflammation and its consequences on newborns.
A/Prof Moss believes the lack of a dedicated journal divides the field. Crucial research is scattered from journals of reproductive biology to integrative physiology. The new section will provide a focused platform committed to embryologists and developmental physiologists, allowing for easy and free access to research.
A/Prof Moss is concerned about the potential negative effects on the field of the ‘reproducibility crisis’ that is facing the entire scientific community. To combat these persisting issues, Professor Moss insists scientists must be allowed free access to raw data:
‘We need to ensure scientific rigour. Our research publications must contain all the details required for independent researchers to repeat studies. We should share our data so that others can better interrogate our findings and have confidence in our interpretations’
A/Prof. Moss explains that, while the research conducted by the community is integral to improving reproductive outcomes, it is not enough to simply increase pregnancy rates or to increase survival of preterm infants if the cost is life-long compromise.
‘We need to understand how the physiological adaptations made by the embryo or fetus in response to their environments are made and how they might be managed to optimise life-long health. We should strive for the ideal of survival, free from illness and disability.’