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Jaeng Suranaree: Discovering Thailand’s Botanical Marvel in Nakhon Ratchasima

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In the lush and vibrant landscapes of Nakhon Ratchasima, nestled within the serene districts of Sikhiu and Dan Khun Thot, a groundbreaking discovery unfolded in the year 2021. A team of intrepid scientists from Suranaree University of Technology stumbled upon a botanical marvel never before seen in any other province—a plant that would soon capture the imaginations and intellectual curiosity of researchers far and wide. This plant was christened Jaeng Suranaree, a nod to the revered historical figure Thao Suranaree from Korat, and an homage to the university that played a pivotal role in its discovery.

The journey of Jaeng Suranaree, scientifically referred to as Maerea koratensis Srisanga & Watthana, from obscurity to the forefront of scientific research is nothing short of mesmerizing. In the wake of its discovery, a consortium of scientists from prestigious research centers, including the eminent Thai Synchrotron National Lab, embarked on an ambitious expedition to unravel the mysteries enveloping this newfound species. Under the diligent gaze of Kanjana Thammanu, a scientist par excellence at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation’s Thai Synchrotron National Lab, the team sought to decode the genetic blueprint and medicinal potential of Jaeng Suranaree through state-of-the-art infrared radiation studies facilitated by the luminous synchrotron light.

The collaborative effort, a symphony of expertise and passion, also sees the involvement of the Suranaree University of Technology’s Plant Genetic Conservation Project Center, an initiative borne from the vision of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Alongside, a dedicated research centre has taken up the mantle to delve deep into the anatomy of not only Jaeng Suranaree but also Jaeng Siam—another species sharing the same environmental embrace yet distinct in its own right.

One of the most captivating revelations from their research came from employing synchrotron radiation (SR) infrared (IR) microspectroscopy to scrutinize the seeds of Jaeng Suranaree alongside those of its sibling, Jaeng Siam. It emerged that Jaeng Suranaree was the more opulent sibling, boasting seeds brimming with fat—a stark contrast to Jaeng Siam, whose seeds were the bastions of protein and carbohydrates. This discovery opened new avenues of exploration, hinting at the potential of Jaeng Suranaree in revolutionizing the realms of medicine and cosmetics.

Jaeng Suranaree, with its roots deeply entrenched in the soil of Nakhon Ratchasima—affectionately known as Korat—embodies the spirit and resilience of its namesake, Thao Suranaree. The decision to name this plant after such a formidable figure and the illustrious university is not just a matter of honor but a testament to the endless possibilities that nature bestows upon those willing to seek its secrets. As scientists continue to decipher the genetic intricacies and unearth the pharmacological treasures hidden within Jaeng Suranaree, it stands as a beacon of hope and a testament to the wonders waiting to be discovered in the verdant tapestry of our world.

As the saga of Jaeng Suranaree unfolds, its seeds—richer in fat than any fairy tale could conjure—promise a future where the fusion of tradition, technology, and tenacity leads to breakthroughs that benefit humanity in myriad ways. Be it paving the way for innovative medical therapies or inspiring the creation of groundbreaking cosmetics, Jaeng Suranaree is more than just a plant; it’s a symbol of human curiosity, a bridge between our past and the potential of our future.


  1. NatureEnthused March 16, 2024

    I’m both amazed and skeptical about Jaeng Suranaree. It’s incredible how a single plant discovery could potentially revolutionize medicine and cosmetics. But isn’t it too early to celebrate? Many times, initial discoveries fizzle out.

    • BioGeek123 March 16, 2024

      I understand the skepticism, but think about the impact of past botanical discoveries on medicine! Penicillin from mold, for instance. We need this kind of optimism and exploration.

      • NatureEnthused March 16, 2024

        Fair point, BioGeek123. I guess my cynicism comes from seeing too many ‘next big things’ fall short. But you’re right; we’ve got to explore every possibility. Here’s hoping Jaeng Suranaree lives up to its potential.

    • SkepticSam March 16, 2024

      Optimism is fine, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s a world of difference between the discovery and practical application. The journey from lab to real-world use is a long and uncertain one.

  2. EcoWarrior March 16, 2024

    Isn’t it concerning that we’re already talking about commercializing Jaeng Suranaree? What about the impact on the ecosystem? We should focus on preserving it rather than exploiting it.

  3. ScienceBuff March 16, 2024

    The discovery of Jaeng Suranaree showcases the importance of funding scientific research. Imagine how many other unknown species are out there with potential benefits that we haven’t discovered yet due to limited resources.

    • TaxPayer March 16, 2024

      I get that research is important, but where do you think that funding comes from? People always talk about funding more research without considering the cost. Is it really worth investing millions?

      • FuturistPhil March 16, 2024

        The cost of not exploring and understanding our natural world could be much higher in the long run. Think of it as an investment in our future, with potential returns far outweighing the initial outlay.

  4. GreenThumb March 16, 2024

    This is why biodiversity and conservation efforts matter! Jaeng Suranaree was discovered in a relatively untouched environment. We must protect these areas to ensure more discoveries in the future.

  5. CosmoGuru March 16, 2024

    We’re on the brink of a new era in cosmetics, thanks to discoveries like Jaeng Suranaree. I’m excited to see how brands will integrate its properties into their products. Natural and effective is the future!

    • OrganicLover March 16, 2024

      Natural doesn’t always mean better or safer, though. Just because it’s from a plant doesn’t guarantee it’ll be good for your skin. We need thorough testing before jumping on the bandwagon.

  6. PhilosopherDave March 16, 2024

    This discovery poses interesting ethical questions. Should we name species after people and institutions, potentially commercializing or owning nature? It’s a slippery slope from honoring someone to commodifying nature.

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