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Cancer drug aid

Professor Ian Graham is leading the team at York University which has discovered the key to mass-producing a chemical called Noscapine. It's extracted from poppies, and is currently being tested as a potential anti-cancer drug.

Researchers discovered a bundle of five genes which tell the poppy plant how to produce the chemical.

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Poppy discovery

Green poppy capsules Credit: Carol Walker

Poppies, like these ones in Tasmania, have helped scientists in York discover how a chemical is produced that is used for anti-cancer drugs. It could mean they can mass produce the chemical in the future.

Poppies growing in Tasmania
Poppies in Tasmania Credit: Carol Walker
Tasmanian poppy fields Credit: Carol Walker

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