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:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. ... Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include ... in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... International Conference and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant ... of the grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join ... wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase ... of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets ... Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, Forecasts" report to ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, Structural Health Monitoring, Composite ... Structural electronics involves electronic and/or electrical components and ... dumb structures such as vehicle bodies or conformally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to ... devices developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... done in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ... , can get any needed testing done in the comfort of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... LEXINGTON, Mass. , June 24, 2016   ... specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today ... when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set ... 2016. "This is an important milestone for ... "It will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: