This is a piece of an interesting paper I read about the rainforest, expressing the importance of this ecosystem, and the need to protect it:
“The value of biological diversity and the rainforest can only be estimated. Every time an acre of rainforest is burned or chopped down, we might lose a cure for cancer or AIDS. Scientists have already seen it happen. A chemical that was a potential cure for AIDS was found in the bark of a gum tree in Malaysia (Sarawak). Scientists took a sample of the bark and studied it to see if it killed the AIDS virus. The results looked good, so the scientists returned to Malaysia to get more samples for further study. When they got there, the tree was gone. The scientists looked for another tree like it, but none was found. It was believed that what could have been a cure for AIDS was gone forever. After several years of continued searching another tree was found in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) could continue the testing on the chemical compounds of this tree. Today clinical testing on humans has begun using the medicine developed from this tree. The government of Sarawak has declared this species to be protected and formed a Biodiversity Center which will continue the search for other life-saving medical miracles.”
Hanna, L. “Calanolide A: A Natural Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor.” Bulletin of Experimental Treatments for AIDS. April 1999.
Sarawak MediChem Pharmaceuticals, Inc. PRNewswire. February 5, 1998; September 30, 1998.
Wilson, E.O. The Future of Life. Alfred A. Knopf. New York: 2002.
Can we save this wonderful place before it’s too late? There is so much waiting to be discovered!
Did you know that in Borneo alone, there have been three or more species discovered every month for the past fifteen years?! It is such a rich and diverse ecosystem!
Don’t let the rainforest disappear! Avoid products that contain palm oil to reduce the demand!
Spread the word!
Thank you 🙂