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table of contents   
Frontiers of Discovery
Applied Research
Intense efforts are underway to discover and utilize the potential in plants before their genetic resources are lost to extinction.
Rosy Periwinkle The rosy periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus from Madagascar, is the source of vincristine, a drug that has improved the odds of surviving childhood leukemia from one in twenty to nineteen in twenty.
Photo: M. Plotkin
From our earliest beginnings, humans have been on an unending quest to discover the useful properties of plants.

The search has produced a healing harvest. Plants are the source of powerful therapeutic drugs for treatment of cancer, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, and many other illnesses. Today, three out of four people in the developing world continue to rely on remedies made directly from plants. Where prescription drugs are the norm, a majority of medicines contain at least one plant-derived compound.

Frontiers of Discovery: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next Section >>
Text and photos from "The Unseen Garden" available from MBG Press.
 
 
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