Dr Gita Yadav: Department of Plant Sciences
For thousands of years plant-derived natural products have been harvested for their medicinal properties in an effort that is now called Bioprospecting.
The astonishing chemical diversity of biologically active substances in various organisms reflects an equally staggering diversity in function. Despite enormous diversity, most phytochemicals are derived from five-carbon isoprene units assembled and modified in thousands of ways, all of which enable plants to communicate with and react to their environment. Understanding the mechanism by which few initial substrates are converted into a tremendous chemical arsenal, holds promise for improving agro-biochemical and pharmacological potential of plants.
Dr Yadav will talk about how we push and merge boundaries of modern technologies like machine learning, genomics and complex networks, to enable a thorough investigation of the plant chemical production line. The Cambridge University Herbarium offers an untapped opportunity to expand this investigation to cover very wide taxonomic, and spatio-temporal scales by making use of collections spanning over a century from various parts of the world.
Science on Sundays is a programme of free, informal, monthly, drop-in plant science talks, bringing the latest discoveries in plant science to our visitors in a 30 minute nutshell.
11am & repeated at 2pm in the Classroom at 1 Brookside.
Suitable for adults and children age 12+.
Talk free. Normal Garden Admission charge applies.
Drop in. No need to book.
Talks run monthly March to August
21 June Dr Francois Nedelec, Sainsbury Laboratory: Self-organization inside living cells
Science on Sundays – June 2020
19 July Dr Sebastian Eves-van den Akker, Department of Plant Sciences: The overlooked enemy: nematode worms eating the plants from under our feet
16 August Dr Chantal Helm, Cambridge University Botanic Garden: Exploring wildlife diversity at CUBG and why it matters
Science on Sundays – August 2020