New drugs awaiting discovery in Chinese herbs?

Jan 22, 2007

The first large-scale computer screenings of Chinese herbs -- commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine -- has revealed a wide variety of compounds with potential for use in treating HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, arthritis and other diseases, according to scientists in London.

In an article scheduled for the March 26 issue of the ACS' Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, a bi-monthly publication, David J. Barlow and colleagues note that such in silico research is becoming increasingly effective in identifying promising compounds that could be candidates for drug development.

In silico ("in silicon") means research done on computers or via computer simulation and has joined the in vivo and in vitro experiments traditionally used in the life sciences.

The researchers screened a database of chemical structures of Chinese herbal constituents from 240 species of plants for possible activity against various diseases.

About 62 percent of the species were found to contain chemicals with characteristics required for activity against at least one disease and 53 percent against two or more diseases. The study also describes corroborative evidence from the scientific literature that supported many of the computer predictions. In a companion article in the journal, the researchers describe the herbal databases.

Source: American Chemical Society

Explore further: Marine pest provides advances in maritime anti-fouling and biomedicine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scalping can raise ticket prices

2 hours ago

Scalping gets a bad rap. For years, artists and concert promoters have stigmatized ticket resale as a practice that unfairly hurts their own sales and forces fans to pay exorbitant prices for tickets to sold-out concerts. ...

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

4 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

Recommended for you

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics

10 hours ago

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process—think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example. Now scientists are tapping into ...

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

12 hours ago

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing ...

Bullet 'fingerprints' to help solve crimes

12 hours ago

Criminals don't just have to worry about their own fingerprints these days: because of a young forensic scientist at The University of Western Australia, they should also be very concerned about their bullets' ...

User comments : 0