Aadil Yaseen, a research scholar at the University of Kashmir, sorts through the various substances in plant extracts to find biologically active molecules. To do this, he separates the extract into its component compounds using a preparatory thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plate, which is basically a larger version of the TLC plates that chemists use to monitor reaction mixtures. Each color in these psychedelic streaks represents one of the pigments or other fluorescent molecules in the extract of Prangos pabularia, a flowering plant native to the slopes of the Himalayas. Yaseen’s goal is to isolate medicinally active molecules and see whether tweaking their structures can make them more potent.
Submitted by Aadil Yaseen
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