A team of scientists from Rutgers University have developed a reliable and inexpensive method by which to manufacture biologically active compounds from living plants. By turning plants into “pharmaceutical factories,” in tightly controlled and regulated hydroponic greenhouses, the scientists have produced compounds such as human insulin and cancer-fighting supplements.
“The new technology re-connects ethical drugs with plants, their original source before synthetic drugs came to dominate the marketplace,” commented research team leader Dr. Ilya Raskin, a professor of biology at the university.
The research team now plans to partner with local farmers in New Jersey through the US company Phytomedics. It is hoped that with training farmers will then select to grow plants with regard to their therapeutic values rather than their value as food.
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