Climate Killing Medical Hopes

UN conference highlights the dangers of fading biodiversity
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2008 1:53 PM CDT
A car is seen on a road that crosses the dense Amazon rainforest near the northern city of Manaus, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 21, 2007.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
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(Newser) – The loss of biodiversity on Earth will seriously hamper efforts to cure human disease, AFP reports. Researchers at the UN-backed Business for the Environment conference highlighted undiscovered cures for pain, infections and even cancer that risk being lost forever if humans fail to reverse the widespread extinction of thousands of species caused, in large part, by climate change.

While the past few centuries have focused on technical innovation, scientists are increasingly turning back to nature to cure disease. The solution is to "take our eyes off the economy," one scientist said. "Clean air, clean water, clean soil … and biodiversity. These are ultimately the most important needs that we have to fight for at all cost."