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Think humans have the edge on chemistry? Think again! Plants produce a bewildering array of potent drugs and chemicals. And with over 390 thousand species of plant worldwide, their chemical prowess and diversity could help to solve some of our major health, food and industrial challenges. Want to know how? Scientists explain how they are putting plants to the test, tapping into their chemical tool-kits to make more and even new chemicals. Also, find out how the chemistry in your morning coffee could actually be keeping you healthy, as well as awake!
Finding Drugs In The Garden
Professor Anne Osbourn (Director of the Industrial Biotechnology Alliance at the John Innes Centre )
Plants are really good chemists and are an excellent source of drugs and other valuable compounds. We are harnessing the DNA that encodes the chemistry toolkit of the Plant Kingdom to make designer molecules for medicinal, agricultural and industrial applications.
Coffee To Save Your Life!
Dr Daniel Knevitt (Researcher for Tropic Bioscience Ltd )
Yes, we could not believe it either! Not content with being one of the most important exports for many of the poorest countries on Earth, moderate consumption of coffee is linked to hidden health benefits. Due to climate change, pests and disease, coffee agriculture is at risk of depletion; this will affect us all. In this talk, we discuss how coffee contributes to good health benefits and highlight areas of research necessary to secure its future.