Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
New technology for discovering antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs and other medicines inside soil microbes and other natural sources is reviving a treasure hunt that already has given humanity more than 50 percent of today's prescription drugs. This new era in "bioprospecting" is the topic of the cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.
Lisa M. Jarvis, C&EN senior editor, points out that natural products are the source of about half of the modern drugs approved in the U.S. But the search for new products slowed as drug companies learned to make synthetic compounds at high speeds by the thousands. Now, the increasing availability and affordability of DNA sequencing is reviving activity in the field. It enables scientists to sample the DNA of thousands of microbes at once in search of gene clusters that could yield a new drug. Then computer models can figure out what molecules the genes encode, and organize the information in searchable databases.
The potential for discovering new medicines is high enough to attract the attention - and millions of dollars in investments - of some of the pharmaceutical industry's major players, including Sanofi and Novartis. The article notes that the latest research has significantly increased the number of microbial compounds being discovered and has opened a window on a vast new library of genes and gene clusters that code for previously undiscovered drugs. The flood of genetic discovery underpins expectations that potential new medicines based on natural products will be in clinical trials in humans within a few years.
View the article: Nature's Second Act.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
American Chemical Society. "The next era in discovering drugs in nature's own medicine cabinet." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 8 Sep. 2013. Web.
6 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265709>
American Chemical Society. (2013, September 8). "The next era in discovering drugs in nature's own medicine cabinet." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/265709.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.