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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 383290, 4 pages

Predictive Analyses of Biological Effects of Natural Products: From Plant Extracts to Biomolecular Laboratory and Computer Modeling

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Section of Molecular Biology, Via Fossato di Mortara, 74, 44100 Ferrara, Italy

Received 25 January 2009; Accepted 25 June 2009

Copyright © 2011 Roberto Gambari. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Year by year, the characterization of the biological activity of natural products is becoming more competitive and complex, with the involvement in this research area of experts belonging to different scientific fields, including chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and bioinformatics. These fields are becoming of great interest for several high-impact scientific journals, including eCAM. The available literature in general, and a survey of reviews and original articles recently published, establishes that natural products, including extracts from medicinal plants and essential oils, retain interesting therapeutic activities, including antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pro-apoptotic and differentiating properties. In this commentary, we focus attention on interest in networks based on complementary activation and comparative evaluation of different experimental strategies applied to the discovery and characterization of bioactive natural products. A representative flow chart is shown in the paper.