Researchers have discovered that fern extracts could potentially be used in cancer treatments. Scientists at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research were studying fern extracts to understand the medicinal properties of ferns, and found that a specific type of fern, Polypodium virginianum, contained a compound called Polypodine B that could fight cancer. By inhibiting the activity of the protein S6 kinase, Polypodine B is said to be able to inhibit cancer cell growth, paving the way for the development of new cancer treatments.
Ferns Used in Groundbreaking Cancer Research Findings
Ferns have been known to mankind since the times of dinosaurs. They are not only a beautiful addition to gardens but also have a great contribution to medical science. Researchers from the University of Oslo and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research have been studying fern extracts to understand its medicinal properties. They have found that a certain type of fern, Polypodium virginianum, has a compound called Polypodine B that can fight cancer. The study shows that this fern can be used to develop a new cancer drug.
Polypodium virginianum, commonly known as the rockcap fern, is found in North America. This fern belongs to the class of Pteridophytes, which are non-flowering, non-seed producing plants. The researchers have found that Polypodine B binds to a protein called S6 kinase, which is responsible for patients developing resistance to cancer drug treatment. S6 kinase promotes a type of protein synthesis that helps cancer cells repair their DNA and evade the drugs. Polypodine B blocks the protein’s activity, inhibiting cancer cell growth and promoting the effects of the drug.
This research marks a significant step in developing treatments for cancers like breast and prostate cancer, which currently lack effective drug treatments. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, and the researchers plan to continue research into fern extracts to discover other medicinal properties.
Q. Can ferns be harmful to humans?
A. Most ferns are safe for humans to handle and consume, but some may contain toxic compounds. It is advised to avoid consuming ferns that are not known to be edible.
Q. How can Polypodium virginianum be used to develop cancer drugs?
A. The compound Polypodine B found in Polypodium virginianum has been found to inhibit cancer cell growth by blocking the activity of the protein S6 kinase. By developing drugs that target this compound, it may be possible to treat cancers that currently lack effective drug treatments.
Q. Are fern extracts currently used in medical treatments?
A. Yes, fern extracts are used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments. However, research into the specific medicinal properties of ferns is ongoing, and it may take some time before they are widely used in mainstream medicine.
Q. Can I grow Polypodium virginianum in my garden?
A. Polypodium virginianum is a hardy fern that can grow in a variety of conditions. It is a beautiful addition to gardens and can be grown in pots or directly in the ground. However, it is important to note that the fern’s medicinal properties are found in its extracts and not its leaves, so growing it in your garden may not have any direct medical benefits.