another reason to preserve the environment

Ed Rybicki ED at micro.uct.ac.za
Tue Jul 6 04:51:51 EST 1993


> Apparently more details are in the latest edition of new Scientist (I haven't
> seen it yet). Any comments ?

Falls right into the hands of the biodiversity crowd (among whom I number
myself) - classic!  Rare native plant, with secondary metabolites with
therapeutic value.  Preserve!  Clone!  Tissue culture!  Find more like!
There has been an interesting series of projects in this country,
involving tissue culturing / mass culture of traditional African medicinal
plants: many of these were becoming endangered what with over-exploitation
and population growth, so several enterprising individuals (and staff of
the botanic gardens) are tissue culturing and micropropagating certain of
the more popular and rare species, and selling them / making them
available to traditional healers.  There has also been a programme, here
as elsewhere in Africa, of actually looking at the medicinal plants to see
what exactly they do, and if anything can be commercially extracted from
some of them.  Good lesson for the rest of the world....

  ____________________________________________________________________
 | Ed Rybicki, PhD             |       "Lord, won't you buy me        |
 | (ed at micro.uct.ac.za)        |                                      |
 | Dept Microbiology           |         A Mer-ce-des Benz..."        |
 | University of Cape Town     |                                      |
 | Private Bag, Rondebosch     |                                      |
 | 7700, South Africa          |           - Janis Joplin             |
 | fax: 27-21-650 4023         |                                      |
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