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Natural Cocaine Production in Plants - Essay Example

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This paper “Natural Cocaine Production in Plants” is the experiment conducted by researchers of the Planck Institute, in order to understand better how protein is naturally made by the coca plant, in a particular species of the Solanaceae family…
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Natural Cocaine Production in Plants
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Download file to see previous pages The coca plant has similar biochemical properties as those that produce alkaloids. The coca plant belongs to a group of plants with natural alkaloids, or nitrogen-containing compounds that produce diverse effects on the physiology of humans. The alkaloid compounds in these plants are proven to have strong pharmacological effects on people and are known to contain nicotine, caffeine, quinine, morphine, atropine, strychnine, and the illegal stimulant compound cocaine. The plants that contain alkaloids include the Solanaceae or potato family, the Brassicaceae or mustard family, and the Erythroxylaceae or coca family, to which the coca plant belongs. The close relatedness of these plants is not only justified by the fact that they all contain alkaloid compounds but also by the fact that they had a common ancestor around 120 million years ago and that the alkaloid compounds that they contain obey similar biochemical pathways. The significance of this fact is that if one were to uncover the details of the natural synthesis of cocaine, then it is possible to study it from the point of view of the other plants to which the coca plant is related (How Plants Make Cocaine, 2012). In the experiment conducted by researchers of the Max Planck Institute, in order to understand better how protein is naturally made by the coca plant, the synthesis of alkaloids in a particular species of the Solanaceae family was compared with the biochemical synthesis of cocaine in the coca plant (Secrets of Natural Cocaine Production Revealed, 2012). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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