University of Kentucky Researchers are Increasing Production of Malaria-Fighting Plants

In *All, Nutrition & Health by Ag is America

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are on a mission to increase growth and production of the malaria-fighting plant Artemisia annua. Artemisinin, a compound in the Artemisia annua plant, is used in the most effective malaria treatment in the world and is in short supply. University of Kentucky researchers are working to identify and collect seeds from Artemisia plants with the goal of finding genetically similar strains of the plant with high levels of artemisinin. These will then be used to develop a new crop of the plant that will yield high levels of artemisinin. Kentucky farmers will then have the opportunity to grow this crop, thus playing a crucial role in the production of malarial-fighting medication.

This research is being done in collaboration and cooperation with ArtemiFlow, a German company which uses technology to improve the efficiency of extracting artemisinin from plants. The combination between Kentucky’s expertise in cultivating and farming high-value crops and ArtemiFlow’s production technology will help fulfill the world’s demand for malaria-fighting medications. As artemisinin-based therapies are the most effective malaria treatment used throughout the world, the global demand for artemisinin is high. ArtemiFlow hopes to make Kentucky the world’s leading producer of artemisinin through technology, research, and Kentucky’s very own farmers.

To learn more the University of Kentucky and this potentially life-saving research, read more here.

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