“Supernature; plants in a chemical world”.
(26 January 2005)
Back to nature as plants re-emerge as source of renewable chemistries
Prior to the advent of modern industry, most fine chemicals such as dyes, flavours, fragrances and medicines were isolated from plants and with interest in 'natural' products increasing, they are re-emerging as a source of renewable high value chemistries.
The ability of plants to synthesise so many useful products results from a complexity of metabolism which greatly exceeds that of animals and scientists at Durham University are focused on harnessing this natural diversity for applications in agriculture and chemical production.
The importance of plants in today’s chemical world is the subject of an inaugural lecture taking place today (26th January) Professor Robert Edwards, from the University’s School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, is delivering the lecture. The lecture takes place in the Applebey Lecture Theatre, Science Site, Durham; 5.30pm. The lecture is open to staff/students and members of the public.
In his presentation Professor Edwards will examine the extremes of metabolic plasticity in plants which allow them to detoxify pesticides and pollutants which have only recently found their way into the natural world, why these reactions are important in agriculture, how they can influence evolution and how these abilities might be harnessed to clean up the environment in the future.
Media enquiries to : Tom Fennelly, Public Relations Office, University of Durham, Tel 0191 334 6078 or e-mail : email@example.com