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Buddhism in the News


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cancer Killer Found in the Ocean.

November 1, 2007 — Biomedicine scientists identified and sequenced the genes of a bacteria calledI Salinispora tropica. (James: If you go to the link you'll find a video about this story). It produces anti-cancer compounds and can be found in ocean sediments off the Bahamas. A product called salinosporamide A has shown promise treating a bone marrow cancer called multiple myeloma, as well as solid tumors. It's estimated that over 1.4 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and for more than 500,000 it will be fatal. But now, scientists have found a new weapon against it. The ocean!

You run in it ... play in it ... splash in it ... but what’s found at the bottom of it can kill cancer! The bacterium was discovered in 1991, but just recently researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography unlocked the genomic sequence, revealing this bacteria's cancer fighting potential. "That’s how new drugs are discovered. We really have to go out there and grow bacteria, look at the genomes," Dr. Moore said. First discovered in 1991 in shallow ocean sediment off the Bahamas, it took several years to successfully sequence Salinispora’s genome, revealing that this mud-dwelling bacteria produces natural antibiotics and anti-cancer products.

James: We already know that trees and plants are the world's lungs and the oceans produce the rain that grows our foods and acts as a global thermostat but that is just the beginning of nature's bounty (By the way, An estimated 80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface and the oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet. Less than 10% of that space has been explored by humans). There are so many medicines that stem from nature and yet we keep destroying the environment. Who knows how many cures for diseases or very effective drugs might have been found in the vast tracts of rain forest chopped down all over the world. There might be a cure for AIDS right now lying deep in the Amazon but we still have the outdated, neanderthal thinking that we must conquer nature and exploit it rather than live in harmony with it.

We need to listen to the shamans and explore their pharmacies (nature) with them and learn from them instead of ignoring them and deriding their time tested expertise. Some of the healthiest people I have met were villagers living in Africa using mostly natural medicines. I'm not advocating, however, that people abandon pharmaceuticals altogether, especially when dealing with a severe mental illness or other crippling diseases. I do think though that we should take natural remedies more seriously and explore our forests instead of clear cut them.

~Peace to all beings~

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delusional said...

I agree. I believe creation has already made provision for any and all of our needs. Over time we have just forgotten them.

Too bad we are destroying it and too bad as Americans we are really in no position to genuinely influence other countries to stop. We certainly don't lead by example and most countries are tiring of our hypocracy and bullying.

Tim said...

I don't believe that we have forgotten anything. We are just perpetually duped into believing that the modern world and science has something better to offer. Now, we learn that cod liver oil has benefits. We learn that wine, in moderation has benefits. All that is easily swept aside in favor of this pill or that. Life has become more complicated in its simplicity.

C. J. Serling said...

Amazing! I find some of those statistics truly surprising. I always marvel at the diversity to be found in biology.

Jojo Chintoh said...

The Nigerian government has apparently experimented with policies wherein conventional doctors would work together with traditional healers. It seems to me that such a thing can only be positive. If we ignored traditional folk wisdom, acupuncture is one of many things we would not have today. Just as significantly, if we completely turn our backs on modern medical knowledge, we significantly cut back out quality of life. Like so many things, balance is required.

delusional said...

You are probably correct, I was thinking more of myself in general. Maybe most people havent forgot anything. Me myself never knew or were taught this stuff. Plus I was thining more on the tens of thousands of years scale. who knows what they knew then, they have been on more of a spiriritual technological tree than a scientific technological tree.


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