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March 30, 1963


JAMA. 1963;183(13):21-30. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700130005002

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From plant extracts being separated in these pictures may come a new drug. In the photograph at left, University of Wisconsin pharmaceutical chemist S. Morris Kupchan watches as post-doctoral associate John R. Knox separates an extract into its components. He is using a Craig counter-current distribution apparatus. At right is undergraduate John Kelsey watching as another extract is made from a powdered plant. Plants from all over the world are studied.

The raw materials for a potential anti-cancer agent may exist in plants flourishing in fields and meadows in the United States and elsewhere, researchers believe.

Hopefully recalling the discovery of medicinal properties in such plants as digitalis and snake-root, and enticed by fragments of medical commentary in ancient writings, modern researchers are literally beating the bushes to discover, or rediscover, valuable drugs.

Two researchers currently involved in this work are S. Morris Kupchan, pharmaceutical chemist at the University of

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