For Tadeusz Molinski, the sea is full of riches -- and he does not mean oil fields or fisheries. Molinski, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Davis, is searching for new treatments for cancer, infectious diseases and other conditions that could be made from natural products in the soft bodies of some of the oceans simplest inhabitants.
"Three quarters of the world is covered by oceans, and weve only dipped below the surface," Molinski said.
This chemist sees natural products from marine organisms as an opportunity to answer questions in biology and find potential leads for the next generation of drugs, whether those are anti-fungals or treatments for cancer. Many pharmaceutical drugs on the market, from aspirin to cholesterol-lowering "statins," are derived from natural products such as plants or bacteria. Molinski says modern developments in analytical chemistry, including highly sensitive instrumentation, sophisticated screening capabilities and discoveries from mapping the human genome, have created a renaissance of interest in these sources of potential medicines.
Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
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