JUL 07, 2018 06:23 PM PDT

Can Sending Plants to Space Reveal a Cancer Treatment?

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Scientists at the University of Kentucky led by Joe Chappell are studying how natural chemicals made from plant materials might be used to create new therapeutics. Now, his team is collaborating with the company Space Tango to find out whether space can induce plants to produce molecules with healing effects.
 
Chappell has long been interested in how natural products can help us treat disease. This new study may seem far out, but fresh strategies can sometimes yield solutions to big problems. “It’s all about new knowledge, new ideas, and creative approaches to things,” Kimel said. “[Space Tango] was created to address what we saw as a fundamentally new frontier particularly in the area of biomedicine.”

The goal of the research is to see whether the stress of microgravity stimulates plants with known medicinal properties to make more of those chemicals, or more effective ones.

Source: University of Kentucky

 

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