NACOGDOCHES - Meet Dr. Shiyou Li...future Nobel Prize Winner.
It might sound far-fetched when you first hear it, but the research he and his team have been doing at the College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin make it seem very plausible.
SFA President Dr. Steve Ballard tends to agree.
"It's the most amazing thing I've seen in my career. His discovery that plants have a chemical that will selectively kill the host is extremely important because most chemicals kill everything."
This stuff isn't simple, and if you're like me and allowed your knowledge of science to come to rest right next to your memory of your junior high locker combination, it can be flat out confusing.
Basically, Dr. Li has spent the better part of two decades discovering new plant species and developing new products from medicinal plants. Products that can help treat a variety of cancers.
That brings us to the giant salvinia plant; the invasive plant that's destroying fish and wildlife worldwide, among other things.
It took three years of lab and field work, but there's finally a breakthrough: The Endocides.
A concept created by Dr. Li, it's basically taking the poison the plant has naturally, and using it against it's source without damaging surrounding species.
This led to the recently patented compound Salviniol. This is where cancer treatments and drugs could change forever.
"The science community is not aware of this work yet. That's why it's so important to protect the intellectual property," Ballard points out.
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