Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS)
Meeting the needs of the health and research communities
Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) is building a global resource for medicinal plant names, which will facilitate access to information about plants and plant products relevant to pharmacological research, health regulation, traditional medicine and functional foods, irrespective of which name is used. This new resource will enable MPNS to develop a suite of information services tailored for research and health professionals.
A User Group, with representatives from key audiences, is advising on the services that will be offered, and the types of data to be included in the MPNS resource.
Why is MPNS needed?
Professionals working in the health and research sectors, and the herbal or pharmaceutical industries, all need to access information about plants and communicate accurately and effectively about them. Medicinal plants are used globally and are known by different names in different communities, health traditions, generations and languages. The same name can also be applied to different species for just the same reasons. To find all the information published about a particular plant, and to ensure that you are sharing data about the same species, you need to know all the possible names that have been used, and any possible confusions.
- Latin scientific names, mapped onto their equivalent pharmaceutical, common and trade names;
- Key data about plant parts used and the form in which they are traded;
- Links to other reference and information resources.
Who will MPNS help?
MPNS will be an essential resource for the following audiences:
- Health professionals
- Scientific and health research communities
- Regulators in health, trade and conservation
- Pharmaceutical and herbal industries
- Traditional medicine practitioners
- Publishers and journal editors
- Those managing plant information resources
- General public
What will MPNS offer?
MPNS is designing and building novel information services especially for our target audiences, based upon the MPNS resource. These services will allow you to:
- Check a plant name and find a plant using any synonym;
- Validate a list of plant names;
- Map a list of plant names to lists used by other agencies;
- Download data for use within your own system or database;
- Build information systems that access the MPNS resource via an API;
- Learn about best practice both when using medicinal plant names and when constructing IT systems containing such names.
London BioNat Network Research Meeting
13th March 2013
Dr Bob Allkin, the MPNS SRO, gave a talk about 'Communicating safely and effectively using plant names' at the London BioNat Network Research Meeting. The meeting was held at the University of East London (UEL), Stratford Campus. Professor Peter Houghton of Kings College, London, Ms Frances Watkins of the UEL, Ms Al-Jawharah Al-Qathama of the UCL School of Pharmacy, Dr Helen Sheridan of Trinity College, Dublin and Dr Barbara Pendry of the UEL also gave talks.
New Year Honour for MPNS advisor
29 December 2012
Christine Leon, Head of Kew’s Chinese Medicinal Plants Authentication and Conservation Centre, received an MBE for services to the UK-China Science Relationship. Congratulations Chris!
Visit to the UCL School of Pharmacy
14 December 2012
Some of the MPNS team had a very interesting meeting with Prof. Michael Heinrich, Dr Sarah Edwards and Anthony Booker of the Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy Research Group.
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