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Name: John R Moore
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Question:
How soon could we run out of trees that make taxol the cancer fighting drug?



Replies:
I do not know if the trees are still being harvested but they need not be any longer for at least two reasons. The component used to make taxol has been found in other plants. Most importantly, this molecule is made synthetically now. This has the advantage of greater control in production and has allowed pharmaceutical chemists to create new derivatives that may change the activity of the parents drug to tumors and other diseases. I remember reading once that the yew was never in danger until taxol was discovered!

Michael B Lomonaco



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