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How new medical treatments are developed

The discovery of new medically active compounds historically began with the identification of substances found in traditional remedies that were known to produce noticeable health benefits. An example is the use of willow for pain relief. This remedy was used in Egypt as long ago as the second millennium BC. The medically active compound, acetylsalicylic acid, was first isolated in 1853. Modern research has led to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that make plants such a rich source of beneficial compounds. These include the chemical response of …
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