Scientists make many discoveries of almost limitless variety. These may include the discovery of substances that can affect living organisms. They may illuminate processes in living cells removed from animals or humans that provide insights into how living organisms function.
Discoveries made through scientific laboratory research often have theoretical value for human health and disease, but such discoveries are initially of only theoretical and not practical value, unless they are developed in a way that has applicability to human beings.
When physicians and scientists collaborate together to bring scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic to test their feasibility, value and potential for human benefit, the clinical research is known as translational research – research that translates science into benefit for real patients.