Rapid advances in genetic research are throwing open the medical treasure chest of the natural world. Chemicals that perform a clear function for a plant or animal can be isolated, studied and, in some cases, applied to complex medical problems.
This is obviously good news for patients but could it also be good news for endangered wildlife? Could we soon be concentrating our limited conservation resources on saving the plants and animals that offer up something to humanity?
Dr. Alice Roberts and medical writer John Naish explore nature’s medicine cabinet and consider the ethical dilemmas.