Project Description

Botanical Technologies Overview 

Botanical science is key to addressing the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century, according to Carnegie’s David Ehrhardt and Wolf Frommer. In a Perspective published in The Plant Cell, the two researchers argue that the development of new technology is key to transforming plant biology in order to meet human needs.

Plants serve as the conduit of energy into the biosphere, provide food and materials used by humans, and they shape our environment. According to Ehrhardt and Frommer, the three major challenges facing humanity in our time are food, energy, and environmental degradation. All three are plant related.
All of our food is produced by plants, either directly or indirectly via animals that eat them. Plants are a source of energy production. And they are intimately involved in climate change and a major factor in a variety of environmental concerns, including agricultural expansion and its impact on habitat destruction and waterway pollution.
What’s more, none of these issues are independent of each other. Climate change places additional stresses on the food supply and on various habitats. So plant research is instrumental in addressing all of these problems and moving into the future. For plant research to move significantly forward, Ehrhardt and Frommer say technological development is critical, both to test existing hypotheses and to gain new information and generate fresh hypotheses. If we are to make headway in understanding how these essential organisms function and build the foundation for a sustainable future, then we need to apply the most advanced technologies available to the study of plant life, they say.

source: Carnegie Institution. “The future of plant science: A technology perspective.” ScienceDaily.

Novel Phytochemicals from Extracts of Maple Syrups and Maple Trees and Uses Thereof

INVENTOR • Navindra P. Seeram, Liya Li, Geneviéve Béland, Julie Barbeau

ABSTRACT

The present invention describes phytochemicals present in maple syrup and maple tree extracts by butanol, ethyl acetate and methanol. Novel compounds are isolated from maple syrups, including one compound Quebecol generated in the maple syrup manufacturing process. Also described are digesting extracts of maple syrup.

APPLICATION

The phytochemicals may be used for the treatment or prevention of cancers, metabolic syndromes (a combination of medical disorders that, when occurring together, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes), diabetes, microorganism infections and/or antioxidants. Neurodegenerative disease, oxidative stress-related disease, intestinal dysfunction, heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, ischaemic colitis, diversion colitis, Behcet’s disease, and indeterminate colitis.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

•Type-2 diabetes management capability, via inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes.
•Human cancer cell antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory properties.
•High level of antioxidant activity
PATENT STATUS
#13/817,732
AVAILABILITY
Technology is available for licensing.
URI# 09-1204
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Skin Whitening Compounds Using a Gallotannin

INVENTOR • Navindra P. Seeram, Hang Ma, Keykavous Parang

ABSTRACT

New skin whitening gallotannin compounds are isolated from the maple tree and synthesized into more potent analogs.

APPLICATION

Skin depigmentation compounds are applicable to the cosmetic and healthcare industries. Pigmentation plays a crucial role in terms of protecting skin against radiation-induced damage such as exposure to ultraviolet light. Overproduction or abnormal accumulation of melanin may lead to many skin hyperpigmentation disorders including freckles, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. Excessive skin pigmentation is a severe health concern since it can cause negative burdens on patients’ psychological and physical well-being.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

•A series of bioactive gallotannins were isolated from maple trees that include red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, sycamore maple, Norway maple, and black maple. In addition, structural analogs were synthesized.
•These compounds from natural sources are safe and effective melanogenesis inhibitors.
Inhibition of melanin synthesis in B16F0 cells by maple gallotannins, ginnalins A-C.
PATENT STATUS
US #61/975668 Applied
AVAILABILITY
Technology is available for licensing.
URI# 14-6002
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