How Species Save Our Lives

The Madagascar periwinkle is a source of cancer drugs. P. Goltra
Given the untapped potential of the natural world, you might think governments and drug companies would be racing to save species and screen them for other such extraordinary powers. In fact, says James S. Miller, vice president for science at the New York Botanical Garden, “only a tiny percentage of the world’s plants have been screened,” and even those “have only been screened against a small fraction of the diseases for which they could be effective.” Instead, pharmacologically-active compounds developed over millions of years and found effective in the world’s harshest laboratory—nature—routinely vanish, as the species in which they evolved go extinct.................How Species Save Our LivesNYTimes