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Drug discovery from your soil

Main Project Information
Presented By University of Oklahoma
Goal Natural Product Drug Discovery from soil fungi
Task Send us soil from your backyard

Creating a new medicine is a team effort involving scientist and medical professionals from a wide variety of fields. In 2010, researchers with the University of Oklahoma’s Natural Products Discovery Group redefined the notion of what “team” meant when they launched their popular Citizen Science Soil Collection Program. Through this program, volunteers from across the United States have helped by donating soil samples from their own backyards, which OU investigators are using to obtain fungi that make special compounds known as natural products. Natural products are the source of many lifesaving drugs that are used today by doctors around the world.

How to Join

Joining the research process is amazingly simple: send us your dirt! Visit our website ( and fill out the online form to request a free soil sample collection kit.

Bonus a free coloring book for our young (6 and under) participants.

Required Gear

Free soil sample collection kit provided by the project organizer. Participants must own or have permission to collect a sample from the land.

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At home
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags cancer, dirt, drug, drug development, drug discovery, girl scouts, infection, natural products, soil
Project Updated 05/23/2018