Jewels of the Jungle

Jewels of the Jungle

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 9:00pm

Gary Strobel is pictured with a brown lemur in the Perinet Park reserve in central Madagascar.

Credit: APT

Could the answers to curing numerous diseases lay waiting in the rain forest?

JEWELS OF THE JUNGLE, airing Thursday, March 1 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2), follows microbiologist Dr. Gary Strobel as he scours the world's forests for new natural medicines that may prove critical in the war on diseases like cancer and malaria. This hour-long documentary chronicles the science and drama surrounding Strobel's work with endophytes, the bizarre microscopic life forms inside nearly all of the world's plants. JEWELS OF THE JUNGLE examines endophytes' revolutionary potential to create a new generation of cheaper and more plentiful "wonder drugs." Cameras accompany Strobel into the rainforests of Bolivia and Peru — the home of tremendous biodiversity — as he searches for new species of endophytes.