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Dec 31, 2021

Plant Scientists Find Recipe for Anti-Cancer Compound in Herbs Like Thyme and Oregano

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering

Thyme and oregano possess an anti-cancer compound that suppresses tumor development, but adding more to your tomato sauce isn’t enough to gain significant benefit. The key to unlocking the power of these plants is in amplifying the amount of the compound created or synthesizing the compound for drug development.

Researchers at Purdue University achieved the first step toward using the compound in pharmaceuticals by mapping its biosynthetic pathway, a sort of molecular recipe of the ingredients and steps needed.

“These plants contain important compounds, but the amount is very low and extraction won’t be enough,” said Natalia Dudareva, a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry in Purdue’s College of Agriculture, who co-led the project. “By understanding how these compounds are formed, we open a path to engineering plants with higher levels of them or to synthesizing the compounds in microorganisms for medical use.

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