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Chinese Herbs May Hold Keys to New Drugs

By: Sam Gaines, Staff Writer

A major computer screening of traditional Chinese herbs found more than 62 percent of the 240 plants species studied contained chemical compounds that indicate possible activity against at least one disease. Another 53 percent showed potential to fight two or more conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and other major diseases.

This type of screening, called “in silico” (literally, “on computers,” as compared with “in vitro” and “in vivo”) research, is becoming more common as it proves effective in identifying ideal candidates for further research toward drug development.

Source: American Chemical Society, January 2007

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