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:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... MedPro Waste Disposal, LLC ... service. MedPro now offers its mail back service for an all-inclusive rate. MedPro ... now able to provide service to all of the clients in the country who ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Veendam, The Netherlands (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... Products is honored to announce that the new WHIMZEES Variety Value Boxes were selected ... EXPO 2016 New Product Showcase Award. , WHIMZEES natural dental chews for dogs ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist in Orange County, CA ... the research, which was published in the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” more ... million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that dental problems may increase the ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... 2016 World Ultimate & Guts Championship (WUGC) Mixed roster was announced in February and Chris ... is being held in London, England this year from June 18-25. At the last WUGC ... in the women’s masters division, and a silver in the women’s division, so Mazur hopes ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... , ... According to an American Psychological Association article, the Centers ... the age of 18. Of those who survive, many still face effects as they ... In her new book, Lyah! Lyah! Pants on Fyah!, she shares stories from women ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , Net Sales of $1.90 billion represent an increase of ... and an increase of 1.2% on an adjusted pro forma, ... quarter were $0.52 reported, a decrease of 47.5% from the ... over the prior year period , The Company increases ... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH) today ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 TapImmune,Inc. (TPIV), ... peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of ... at the 3rd Annual Growth Capital Expo to ... 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The ... May 4 th by Dr. John N. Bonfiglio ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016   , ... Recurring Consumable Sales  Clinical sales grow 16% ... (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary ... the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 and provided ... its commercial strategy. First Quarter 2016 Revenue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: