IPN scientist develops a natural contraceptiveBy Fernanda Duque Hernández
Rafael Silva used compounds from a succulent to create a spermicide that has no secondary effects
It took 15 years of research but Rafael Silva Torres, a scientist from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), finally got the patent on an organic compound he isolated to elaborate a natural contraceptive with high effectiveness and no secondary effects.
The researcher used one of the many compounds found in the Mexican plant sedum praealtum –a type of succulent commonly known as ‘green cockscomb’ – to create a safe, low cost and completely natural spermicide.
Once he identified the compound, he synthetized the chemical substance in order to start the necessary clinical tests.
Silva Torres explained that the use of plants as contraception is not uncommon, since there is plenty of evidence in the scientific literature that some plants from India – like the Azadirachta indica and the Sapindus mukorossi – possess spermicidal characteristics.
In fact, in the Mexican States of Morelosand Guerrero, some communities use infusions of the green cockscomb as a method to prevent pregnancy. It was precisely this which caught his scientific attention that, after studying the plant, confirmed its effectiveness.
Moreover, he discovered that the plant possesses at least 50 active ingredients, which made quite a challenge the isolation of the spermicidal compound that was identified through various processes of chromatography with different organic solvents.
“What caught the attention of the scientific community is that, the higher the concentration of the compound the fewer possibilities of pregnancy the lab rats presented, coming to a point in which the sperm viability is completely null and there’s no possibility of gestation,” Rafael Silva said, “However, even when the concentration of the compound was high, but still with possibilities of pregnancy, the offspring was born healthy and without malformations.”
This proves to be a significant improvement over the usual current contraceptive methods that present some difficulties to willful parents-to-be, who sometimes face health problems in their babies due to a continuous use of contraception pills.
Rafael Silva Torres shares the patent with doctor Delfina Ramos Zamora, who collaborated with the project during the 15 years it took to realize, due to lack of resources.
- “Sudan” the world’s last male white rhino dies in Africa
- Facebook tracks a scary number of details about you
- Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO amid uproar over Facebook data leak
- “Yucatan’s good public safety is attracting foreign direct investment”
- By 2021, at least 40% of Latin America's GDP will be digitized: IDC
- China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to hit Uber where it hurts
- Migrations will increase by 2050 due to climate change: Central Bank
- Warrant Sought to Inspect Cambridge Analytica
- Why Pompeo will be key to Trump’s policy towards North Korea and Iran
- United Kingdom expels 23 Russian diplomats in the wake of former spy poisoning
- Apple and Disney Place First and Second with Millennials in 2018 Brand Affinity Study
- Trump Inspects Border Wall Prototypes in California