Compound in nudibranchs toxic to cancer cell lines

Natural products play an invaluable role as a starting point in the drug discovery process, and plants and animals use many interesting biologically active natural products as chemical defence mechanisms against predators. Among marine organisms, many nudibranch gastropods are known to obtain toxins from what they are eating, such as sponges.

These toxins are used as chemical defences and bright colours to warn potential predators away,

Japan's Kinki: Macro Mecca of Honshu

Magnificent Miamira (Miamira magnifica), Kinki, Japan. Photo by Andy Murch.

Kinki is a ruggedly beautiful peninsula in the southwest of Honshu, Japan. The area is best known for the Shinto shrines of Kumano, which sit atop forested mountains in the center of the region. Each year, thousands of tourists and devotees undertake a pilgrimage through the mountains to reach the tranquil sanctuary, which is said to be a place of physical healing.