Where Do Our Drugs Come From?

The incredible chemical weapon-making abilities of fungi, bacteria, and plants have created a diverse array of compounds that are useful to humans.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for sponsoring this video!

Thanks also to our supporters on
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Bioprospecting: the systematic search for and development of new sources of chemical compounds, genes, micro-organisms, macro-organisms, and other valuable products from nature
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Script Editor: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Illustrator: Jesse Agar
Video Director: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Narrator: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:

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References:

Bills, G.F. and Gloer, J.B. (2016) Biologically Active Secondary Metabolites from the Fungi. Microbiology Spectrum 4(6): 6

Cragg, G.M. and Newman, D.J. (2005) Biodiversity: A continuing source of novel drug leads. Pure and Appled Chemistry 77: 7–24

Mazid, M., Khan, T.A. and Mohammad, F. (2011) Role of secondary metabolites in defense mechanisms of plants. Biology and Medicine 3(2): 232–249.

Newman, D.J. and Cragg, G.M. (2016) Natural Products as Sources of New Drugs from 1981 to 2014. Journal of Natural Products 79: 629-661

O’Brien, J. and Wright, G.D. (2011) An ecological perspective of microbial secondary metabolism. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 22:552–558