1: What are Natural Products? 2: The Importance of NPs in Human Affairs 3: The Main Classes of NPs - Only a Few Pathways Lead to the Majority of NPs 4: Are NPs Different from Synthetic Chemicals? 5: Why Do Organisms Make NPs? 6: NPs, Chemicals and the Environment 7: Natural Products and the Pharmaceutical Industry 8: The Chemical Interactions Between Organisms 9: The Evolution of Metabolism 10: The Genetic Modification of NP Pathways - Possible Opportunities and Possible Pitfalls Notes Index
Richard Firn grew up on a farm near Edinburgh, went 3 miles to university to study agriculture but found chemistry more challenging. Using a scholarship to get to Australia, by chance he began research in plant physiology which he continued in the UK and the USA. In 1973 he joined the Biology Department at the University of York and by a series of chance events he was joined by his first graduate student, Clive Jones, who enjoyed speculating about the evolutionary significance of the many diverse chemicals in plants. Not only did Clive help Richard in the laboratory, he was even called upon to help Richard build the timber house in which he still lives. Some years later, while Richard was really trying to understand how plants sense and respond to gravity and light, Clive and Richard met up again and came up with the radical idea on which this book is based. Richard Firn died in May 2010.
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