Medicine: The Herb Hunters

Around the world, from alpine heights to sluggish deltas, and even down into the coralline depths of the Pacific, legmen for U.S. medicine were busy last week in a single-minded search. The objective: folk remedies, plants, lichens or marine slimes that might, through modern chemical analysis, yield useful drugs for treating man's ills, from toothache to cancer.

In some regions, notably South America and Africa, the herb hunters were all over. Led by Dr. John Wurdack, the New York Botanical Garden's Expedition No. 21 was at the headwaters of the Orinoco. Seeking new or...

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