Nature's Medicines

Projects by young scientists show how plants and animals in nature can be a source of new medicines.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM May 24, 2005

You would probably never think to slap a stingray on a scraped knee. Eighteen-year-old Ben Powell, however, has found compounds on a stingray's skin that may help fight infections.

An Atlantic stingray in an aquarium.

An Atlantic stingray in an aquarium.

NOAA Photo Library

Several clues had pointed to the possibility that there might be something special about stingray skin. Atlantic stingrays, for example, can deal with microbes in both fresh water and seawater. Sharks, which have a similar type of skin, sometimes nibble on...

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