Sponsored Links


Denatured nature


Don’t fool Mother Nature. Unless you are trying to make more efficient pharmaceutical compounds occurring “naturally” from plants. Whether it’s tree bark for aspirin or flowers like Echinacea, man has long tapped into botanicals for healing powers. Now man is tapping a little harder by genetically engineering them to produce unnatural varieties of what they do best.

Associate Professor Sarah O/Connor from MIT has added bacterial genes to a periwinkle plant which enables it to produce more powerful alkaloids used in pharmaceuticals. The alkaloids can make medicine more effective and last longer in the body.

The primary target of the research team was to increase production of a alkaloid called vinblastine which is used in cancer treatments. “We’re trying to use plant biosynthetic mechanisms to easily make a whole range of different iterations of natural products,” she said. “If you tweak the structure of natural products, very often you get different or improved biological and pharmacological activity.”

In the continuing research, O’Connor and her team want to engineer full periwinkle plants to produce even more novel compounds. They also want to improve the production or overall yield from the periwinkle plant to about 15 times higher than what the plant creates without man’s help. While they are only tooling the periwinkle now, it’s possible these techniques can be applied to other plants for other purposes.

Source: MIT, ScienceDaily.


Need Help? A Counselor is Waiting

All Sessions Start for Free - Click below to get started


Sponsored Links

Support Groups


SupportGroups.com is for individuals, friends and families who want to connect during life's challenging times. Share experiences get a helping hand in a confidential, supportive environment.



This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of NaturalFamilyOnline.com or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

Need Help? A Counselor is Waiting

All Sessions Start for Free


Sponsored Links


Online Support Groups

visit SupportGroups.com

SupportGroups.com provides a support network for those facing life's challenges. Click on the following links to get a helping hand in a confidential, caring environment.

Selected Support Groups


Latest Questions

What does your weekly dinner look like?: