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Medicines from Plants—A Nexus of Biodiversity and Technology
Featured Speaker: Toni Kutchan, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Oliver M. Langenberg Distinguished Investigator, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, IntelliZyme; Fellow and 2011 Outstanding St. Louis Scientist, The Academy of Science – St. Louis
Plants produce an enormously rich reservoir of chemical diversity. More than 200,000 distinct chemicals have been identified from plants. We are most familiar with these chemicals as the lovely scents of flowers, the enticing aromas of herbs, the pigments used as yarn- and fabric dyes. Plant chemicals affect many aspects of our lives from food to textile to medicine. How is modern technology helping us to harvest the benefits of plant chemicals without endangering biodiversity? Biochemist Dr. Toni Kutchan talks about research in her lab to study how plants make important medicines and the use of biotechnology to develop sustainable supplies of pharmaceuticals.