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After reading some publications that used "from" quite squishy, I would like to know: Is it generally possible to use "from" instead of "produced using", "produced by" or as a short version of "derived/obtained from", especially when the number of words is limited (for example in titles or legends)?

For example:

  1. Drugs produced by Company X = Drugs from Company X
  2. Drugs obtained from Company Y = Drugs from Y
  3. Drugs produced using enzymes = Drugs from enzymes
  4. Drugs derived from herbs = Drugs from herbs

All of them somehow seem legit to me if the context is known. But is it in principle ok to abbreviate in this way?

  • 1 & 2 are OK, but the use of 'from' in 3 & 4 is probably subject to government regulations about what exactly the term means. – StoneyB Oct 19 '18 at 14:29
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    Prepositions are little words with big jobs and many uses. You can't expect them to always mean the same thing; most of the time they don't have any meaning at all -- they're just required by some verb or noun or adjective or syntactic construction. – John Lawler Oct 19 '18 at 15:23
  • If enzymes are the means rather than the raw materials used to produce a pharmaceutical, then from won't work. – KarlG Oct 19 '18 at 16:39
  • thank you all for your comments. @KarlG I agree with you. But let's say means, such as enzymes, become kind of "humanised" as the research goes along, or in other words, as a result of a personal connection to the research object. In this case, enzymes, for example, often aren't really thought of as means anymore but as a creator instead. Would it then work? Maybe this is getting too philosophical/psychological now, but I could already witness it many times among my scientist colleagues and I myself tend to humanise my precious means from time to time :-) – Ben Es Oct 20 '18 at 0:06

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