Natures Chemicals: The Natural Products that Shaped Our World

Paperback | January 23, 2011

byRichard Firn

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Natural Products (NPs) is the term used to describe the hundreds of thousands of chemical compounds or substances that are continually produced by living organisms (plants and microbes). Hundreds of millions of tons of these chemicals are generated annually, and the trade in just a few ofthese has dominated human economic activity for thousands of years. Indeed the current world geopolitical map has been shaped by attempts to control the supply of a few of these compounds. Every day of our lives each human spends time and money trying to procure the NPs of their choice. However,despite their overwhelming influence on human culture, they remain poorly understood. Yet a knowledge of NPs can help in our search for new drugs, further the debate about GM manipulation, help us address environmental pollution, and enable a better understanding of drug trafficking.Nature's Chemicals is the first book to describe Natural Products (NPs) in an evolutionary context, distilling the few simple principles that govern the way in which organisms (including humans) have evolved to produce, cope with, or respond to NPs. It neatly synthesizes a widely dispersedliterature and provides a general picture of NPs, encompassing evolution, history, ecology, and environmental issues (along with some deeper theory relevant to biochemistry), with the goal of enabling a wider section of the scientific community to fully appreciate the crucial importance of NaturalProducts to human culture and future survival.

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Natural Products (NPs) is the term used to describe the hundreds of thousands of chemical compounds or substances that are continually produced by living organisms (plants and microbes). Hundreds of millions of tons of these chemicals are generated annually, and the trade in just a few ofthese has dominated human economic activity for ...

Richard Firn grew up on a farm near Edinburgh, went 3 miles to university to study agriculture but found chemistry more challenging. Using a scholarship to get to Australia, by chance he began research in plant physiology which he continued in the UK and the USA. In 1973 he joined the Biology Department at the University of York and b...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.45 × 6.61 × 0.07 inPublished:January 23, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199603022

ISBN - 13:9780199603022

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Table of Contents

1. What are Natural Products?2. The Importance of NPs in Human Affairs3. The Main Classes of NPs - Only a Few Pathways Lead to the Majority of NPs4. Are NPs Different from Synthetic Chemicals?5. Why Do Organisms Make NPs?6. NPs, Chemicals and the Environment7. Natural Products and the Pharmaceutical Industry8. The Chemical Interactions Between Organisms9. The Evolution of Metabolism10. The Genetic Modification of NP Pathways - Possible Opportunities and Possible PitfallsNotesIndex

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"Presented in a thought-provoking way." --Chemistry World