2018-2019 University Catalogue 
    Jul 24, 2021  
2018-2019 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BIOL 306 - Medical and Forensic Botany

The great majority of people understand that plants are fundamental to life: they produce life sustaining oxygen, cleanse the air of carbon dioxide, provide material for construction, and more. Yet few people appreciate that modern medicine has its roots in the chemistry of plants. From headaches and malaria to AIDS and hypertension, most modern drug treatments originated from plant extracts. Even in the modern world of sophisticated synthetic chemistry, 25 percent of all prescriptions contain plant extracts or active principles prepared from plants. More than providing pain relief and disease cures, the search of effective medical botany has shaped cultures, created fierce wars, and contributed to the modern issues of bio-prospecting, drug wars, and crime scene investigation. This course delves into issues of medical and forensic botany from multiple perspectives. Students develop a greater understanding of basic plant biology and phytochemistry, and learn how many cultures have utilized plants for curative and destructive means. Students also examine how plant-derived drugs have disrupted both ancient and modern cultures, and have shaped the scientific method and modern drug creation. Finally, the class examines how plants play significant roles in early and modern forensics by focusing on major cases whose decisions have hinged on plant evidence.

Credits: 1.00
Corequisite: BIOL 306L 
Prerequisites: BIOL 181  or BIOL 211
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Natural Sciences & Mathematics
Liberal Arts CORE: None
Formerly: BIOL 230

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