3.1.5: Data Dive- Biodiversity and Drugs - Biology

3.1.5: Data Dive- Biodiversity and Drugs - Biology

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Global biodiversity continues to contribute significantly to the production of drugs. The figure below below displays the categories used in the analysis and a graph breaking down their results:

  • “B”: Biological macromolecule
  • “N”: Unaltered natural product, however, could have been semi- or totally synthetic
  • “NB”: Natural product “botanical drug”
  • “ND”: Natural product derivative
  • “S”: Synthetic drug
  • “S*”: Synthetic drug (NP pharmacophore)
  • “V”: Vaccine
  • “S-VM”: Natural product mimic of “S”
  • “S*-VM”: Natural product mimic of “S*”

Figure(PageIndex{a}): Percent of drugs approved between 1981 and 2004 with either a synthetic or natural sub-classification. Graph by Rachel Schleiger (CC-BY-NC) modified from data in Newman DJ and Cragg GM 2016.


  1. What question(s) are the authors trying to answer with this graph?
  2. What are the top three largest approved drug categories?
  3. After reading over the categories outlined, provide your impression/reflection for all the categories that were identified.
  4. What reason could you provide as to why the N and NB categories are so small compared to ND?
  5. Do you think the results of this graph can be used as a defense of saving/conserving biodiversity now and into the future? Why?

Watch the video: Loss of Biodiversity: Three Numbers, Two Concepts, and One Hypothesis (August 2022).