Navigation Links
OU natural products discovery group asks for public's help with citizen science program
Date:11/7/2013

The University of Oklahoma Natural Products Discovery Group has taken an unconventional approach to finding new compounds with therapeutic relevance by launching a crowdsourcing initiative with citizen scientists from around the country. With this approach, OU researchers team with the public to sample soils from all across the United States for the purpose of identifying new microorganisms that produce drug-like compounds. This effort recently led to the discovery of maximiscin, a unique bioactive compound obtained from a soil sample submitted by an Alaskan citizen, which has shown early promising results by stopping the growth of melanoma cells in vivo.

"The exciting part of this discovery is that a citizen scientist participated in our program and sent us this sample," says Robert H. Cichewicz, associate professor in the OU College of Arts and Sciences and director of the National Products Institute. "We probably would not have discovered this compound without the Citizen Science Program." Cichewicz is collaborating on the project with S.L. Mooberry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; A.N. Miller, University of Illinois; and L. Du, J.B. King and E.R. Powell, OU Natural Products Discovery Group.

"In the next phase of this research, we need to learn more about the molecule to see how it functions and how we can make it better," Cichewicz explains. "We have to take this bioactive compound from a discovery to a lead compound and, fortunately, OU recently invested in expanding these efforts with the establishment of the new Institutes for Natural Products Applications and Research Technologies." This new center, housed in the Stephenson Life Sciences Research Center on the OU Research Campus, is bringing together researchers from several different disciplines to collaborate on drug target discovery from natural sources."

During the last several years, the OU Natural Products Group has collected several thousand fungi from soil samples primarily obtained from three environmentally disparate regions: Alaska (artic/sub-arctic); Hawaii (tropical); and Oklahoma (subtropical/semi-arid). Despite these efforts, the team can only access a relatively slim portion of the available microbial diversity. This group predicts that a significant number of compounds with therapeutic potential await discovery from the untapped majority of the soils' microbial inhabitants. For this reason, the Citizen Science Program is an important part of the discovery process. By teaming with citizen scientists, the public becomes an active participant in the search for new drugs.

"The public is very curious about science and many of the people I have spoken with are eager to join in the search for new bioactive compounds. With the public as part of the team, we are expanding the search for new medicinal agents to include many previously unexplored areas, as well as providing a means for informing people about how new drugs are discovered," Cichewicz notes. "So far, results have been encouraging with samples arriving from as far away as California, Hawaii and Alaska. We are thrilled with the early response we have seen to this program, and we look forward to continuing our efforts with our citizen science partners from across the country."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jana Smith
jana.smith@ou.edu
405-325-1322
University of Oklahoma
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. EPA to Cut Air Pollution from Natural Gas Fracking
2. Soybeans soaked in warm water naturally release key cancer-fighting substance
3. Science of parenting, the link between sexism and racism, death and the supernatural, and more
4. Novel Natural Sciences Repository Opens Web Portal
5. Study examines use of a natural language processing tool for electronic health records in assessing colonoscopy quality
6. Acne No More Review Explores Product Aimed at Curing Acne Naturally
7. Natural Sciences Repository Publishes Chromatography and Acidic Compounds Resources
8. Under Right Conditions, Fertility Treatment Can Equal Natural Conception Rates: Study
9. Success of fertility treatment may approach natural birth rate
10. GTC Green Cleaning Products Now Available from UNFI - United Natural Foods
11. Stimulant marketed as natural in sports supplement actually of synthetic origin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... The American ... for the scientific development, healthcare training and clinical application of medical infrared imaging, ... AAT Member Certification Qualification Courses for Technicians, respectively. , For the first time ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... Moisture ... choosing the right method is paramount to success. Selecting an inappropriate measurement method ... where multiple persons use the same equipment. Rare or expensive substances are wasted ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , ... January 23, 2017 , ... Old School Labs™, ... added Mr. Olympia Classic Physique bodybuilder Breon Ansley to its growing team of brand ... a bodybuilder in 2012 and in less than a year was able to turn ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... at the Mill”: a story of love and redemption, hope and uncertainty as a ... , “The Inn at the Mill” is the creation of published author, Lois Kulp, ... now living in Berks County on Crow Hill. The inn, the mill and ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... “Life Under Blankets”: ... from an early age. “Life Under Blankets” is the creation of published author, Kimberly ... Circle Campus in Chicago. She went on to pursue a master’s degree in education ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... SAN DIEGO , Jan. 20, 2017 ResMed (NYSE: ... and 3B Medical ( Winter Haven, Florida ) today ... between the parties. BMC and 3B will be permitted to sell ... ResMed will make a one-time settlement payment to 3B to close ... The settlement did not include an admission of liability or wrongdoing ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Jan. 20, 2017  Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading ... or the "Company") (NASDAQ: KMPH ) of the ... certain officers and directors and underwriters of the Company,s April ... role of lead plaintiff. The lawsuit has been ... for Johnson County on behalf of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... to their offering. ... This research service on the global pharmaceutical stability testing market ... of the key participants in the market. The ... 2020. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: