Karen Smith, Undergraduate
Natural products are organic compounds produced by many microbes,plantsand marine invertebrates. It is thought by some that toxic naturalproducts are produced by the host as adaptations to deterpredators(chemical defense) or to compete for space in their native environments(alleopathy). Some natural products also exhibit biological activityrelevant to human physiology and disease states. Many terrestrialnatural products have found use in medicine (e.g. morphine fromthe opium poppy, digitalis glycosides from foxglove) and agriculture(e.g. the potent insect anti-feedant azadarichtin from Neem treeoil),however exploration of marine natural products is relatively recent.
Marine natural products often possess chemical structures withexotic functional groups (e.g. isonitrile, multiple halogenation)or unique parent carbon skeleta that are without precedent amongterrestrial natural products. Marine natural products chemistryis a relatively young science that has grown with the search fornovel drug-like leads from the sea. Marine invertebrates representan under-explored source of novel natural products. (For example,less than 10% of the estimated 5000 sponge species have been examined).Wantto know more about our research? Click hereor on the "Next" swirl below. You can also use thelinks below to navigate our pages.
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