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Biological & Biomedical Sciences
English (U.S.)
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Choose One Of The Following Compounds: Cocaine (Essay Sample)


Plant Chemical Adaptations
Physical adaptations are one way plants have become well-adapted to specific environmental conditions. For example, cacti have spines in place of leaves to prevent water loss in the arid conditions of the desert, and deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall to survive cold weather conditions over the winter. Chemical adaptations are another means for plant protection. Many plants produce toxic or noxious compounds to protect themselves from insects or animals that would eat them, to reduce competition from other plants, or even to change the response of pollinators. Humans analyze and harvest these compounds for our own benefit.
Read this article on the search for useful plant compounds: Mother Nature’s Medicine Cabinet
Read this article on the less-than-beneficial uses of plant products: Addictive Drugs That Are Actually Pesticides
Choose ONE of the following compounds:
• Caffeine
• Cocaine
• Nicotine
• Artemisinin
Answer these four questions:
1. Describe the compound and in what plant(s) it is found.
2. Explain how this compound provides protection for the plant.
3. Does the compound provide any other benefits for the plant, such as enhanced pollination?
4. What effect does the compound have on humans?
Follow these guidelines for your paper:
• Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in the paper. Make sure you cite appropriately within your paper, and list the reference(s) in APA format on your Reference page.
• Your paper should be 1–2 pages in length, not counting the Title page and Reference page.
Herkewitz, W. (2014). Addictive drugs that are actually pesticides. Retrieved from http://mentalfloss(dot)com/article/55372/addictive-drugs-are-actually-pesticides
Wong, K. (2014). Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet. Retrieved from https://www(dot)scientificamerican(dot)com/article/mother-natures-medicine-c/
Grading Criteria
Grading Criteria
Grading Criteria Proficient Descriptor Points
Description of the compound • Describes the selected compound.
• Identifies the plant that is the source for the compound. 10
Protection for the plant • Explains how this compound provides protection for the plant.
• Delineates any other benefits that the compound provides for the plant or states that there are no other benefits. 15
Effect on humans • Describes the effect that the compound has on humans. 15
Format, Grammar, and Mechanics • Provides a 1-2 page paper that is double-spaced, and includes a title page, reference page, running head, and page numbers. The title page and reference page are not counted in the length of 1-2 pages for the paper.
• Sentences are clear, well-articulated, and free from grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
• Information sources (a minimum of one) utilized are clearly identified, properly cited, and referenced using APA Style. 10



Ideally, cocaine refers to a tropane alkaloid that is extracted from the coca plant leaves. The name cocaine was coined by combining the “coca” representing the plant with “-ine” which is essentially a suffix used for alkaloids. The commercial value of cocaine is derived from the fact that it can be used as a CNS stimulant (Stolberg, 2011). Also, the compound can be used as a local anesthetic. However, cocaine is most significantly used as a recreational drug.
Despite the fact that cocaine is used by humans for various reasons, the alkaloid also plays a significant biological role in the coca plant. Most plants, by and large, produce alkaloids to protect them against external environmental factors. For the coca plant, cocaine production is essential in protecting it again

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