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More than a third of pharmaceutical products in the US are made from a rainforest plant. One third of the drugs prescribed by a doctor come from rainforest plants. 1,400 of these plants have anti cancer properties.
Rosy periwinkle contains alkaloids which are used to treat Hodgkin disease and childhood leukemia.
Cinchona bark is also known as quinine bark, and it is famous for its ability to treat malaria. The Brazilian viper is one of the most dangerous snakes in the world, but its venom is used to produce medicines which lower blood pressure.
Other components from animals or plants are used to treat schizophrenia or dysentery, and they can also be found in anesthetics, muscles relaxants, antihistamines, and birth control pills.
Every year western countries import tens of thousand tons of plants which are used in the pharmaceutical industry. As we study the genetic specificities of the rainforest animal we are used to improve food production as we increase productivity and disease resistance
Species we do not know yet could possibly cure disease we cannot cure today
The Amazon area is not homogenous and many species grew to fit their specific environment. Many species are still unknown to us. In the Jungle life develops mainly within the canopy, which can be as high as 60 meters. Tree trunks act like a sort of scaffoldings where branches and vines enter twain and shelter an amazing variety of plant and animal forms of life. The Amazonia is a home for about 1,600 bird species (more than anywhere else in the world) and up to 40,000 insect species by 10,000 square meter.
There are nearly 3,000 fish species in Amazonia which roughly represent 85% of South American species. Only 35 species are used as food. Trees are incredibly varied: a forest in temperate areas in Europe or in North America usually has about fifteen different trees. In the Amazonia every 10,000 square meter contains on average 300 different trees. More than 5,000 types of tree have a trunk width larger than 15cm.
Almost one third of the plants species on earth grow within the South American tropics. Unfortunately, human activities gradually destroy species and biodiversity. On average 3 species disappear every hour because of deforestation, which is 26,280 a year.
As they destroy the forest, human beings accelerate the extinction of species.