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Molecular understanding of drug interactions suggests pathway to better malaria treatments

Science Daily - January 15, 2020 - 21:40
Researchers have for the first time demonstrated what happens at the molecular level when two compounds known to inhibit crystal growth were combined, yielding new insights into malaria treatments and, more broadly, improving the process of drug development.

New study reveals the origin of complex malaria infections

Science Daily - January 8, 2020 - 21:03
New technology employing single cell genome sequencing of the parasite that causes malaria has yielded some surprising results and helps pave the way for possible new intervention strategies for this deadly infectious disease.

A new breakthrough in developing effective antimalarial drugs

Science Daily - December 31, 2019 - 16:18
Parasites in the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria, are transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. The parasites manage to acclimatize to these two completely different hosts because the plasticity of their genome enables them to adapt as necessary. Scientists decided to investigate the epigenetic mechanisms behind this plasticity, in particular DNA methylation. They identified molecules capable of inhibiting DNA methylation and effectively killing even the most resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites.

Researchers map malaria parasites proliferating in human blood cells

Science Daily - December 27, 2019 - 13:52
Malaria parasites transform healthy red blood cells into rigid versions of themselves that clump together, hindering the transportation of oxygen. The infectious disease affects more than 200 million people across the world and causes nearly half a million deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization's 2018 report on malaria. Until now, however, researchers did not have a strong understanding of how the parasite so effectively infiltrated a system's red blood cells.

Mosquitoes can sense toxins through their legs

Science Daily - December 26, 2019 - 13:44
Researchers have identified a completely new mechanism by which mosquitoes that carry malaria are becoming resistant to insecticide.

Gene drives work faster than non-drive approaches to control problem insects

Science Daily - December 19, 2019 - 19:26
When controlling mosquitoes that spread malaria, gene drives, which force genetic changes to proliferate in a population, are faster and more efficient than simply releasing mosquitoes that are immune to the parasite, according to a new study.

Safer viruses for vaccine research and diagnosis

Science Daily - December 11, 2019 - 19:47
A new technology to produce safer 'hybrid' viruses at high volumes for use in vaccines and diagnostics for mosquito-borne diseases has been developed.

1940s blood samples reveal historical spread of malaria

Science Daily - December 2, 2019 - 17:46
DNA from 75-year old eradicated European malaria parasites uncovers the historical spread of one of the two most common forms of the disease, Plasmodium vivax, from Europe to the Americas during the colonial period, finds a new study.

New high-resolution images show how malaria parasites evade frontline drugs

Science Daily - November 27, 2019 - 21:14
The first-ever detailed images of a malaria protein, a known key modulator of drug resistance, show how the parasite evades antimalarials -- and may help scientists find ways to restore the drugs' potency.

Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Science Daily - November 20, 2019 - 17:12
Engineers have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal settings needed to complete a given diagnostic task. In the initial proof-of-concept study, the microscope simultaneously developed a lighting pattern and classification system that allowed it to quickly identify red blood cells infected by the malaria parasite more accurately than trained physicians and other machine learning approaches.

Malaria discovery could lead to better HIV and lupus treatments

Science Daily - November 20, 2019 - 12:07
A discovery about how the immune system responds to malaria infection could lead to better treatments for hepatitis C, HIV and lupus, say researchers. The research team showed, in laboratory models, that strong inflammatory signals caused by malaria infection activate molecules that trigger the production of highly potent antibodies to fight the disease.

Scientists and schoolkids find family soups have antimalarial properties

Science Daily - November 19, 2019 - 00:08
London schoolchildren have found -- with the help of scientists -- that some of their families' soup recipes have antimalarial properties.

Scientists close in on malaria vaccine

Science Daily - November 15, 2019 - 14:16
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria.

Mapping disease outbreaks in urban settings using mobile phone data

Science Daily - November 15, 2019 - 12:44
A new study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data -- information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Breakthrough in malaria research

Science Daily - November 14, 2019 - 16:59
Cell biologists have systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment. The researchers were able to identify hundreds of targets that are urgently needed in drug and vaccine development to eradicate the disease.

Insulin can increase mosquitoes' immunity to West Nile virus

Science Daily - November 13, 2019 - 15:18
A discovery has the potential to inhibit the spread of West Nile virus as well as Zika and dengue viruses. The researchers demonstrated that mammalian insulin activated an antiviral immunity pathway in mosquitoes, increasing the insects' ability to suppress the viruses. Since mosquito bites are the most common way humans are infected with West Nile, stopping the virus among the insects would protect human health.

Scientists identify immune cells linked to malaria-induced anemia through autoantibody production

Science Daily - November 12, 2019 - 16:02
An autoimmune attack on uninfected red blood cells likely contributes to anemia -- a shortage of red blood cells -- in people with malaria.

How the Zika virus can spread

Science Daily - November 11, 2019 - 15:50
The spread of infectious diseases such as Zika depends on many different factors. Researchers were able to generate reliable maps for the transmission risk of the Zika virus in South America.

Mated female mosquitoes are more likely to transmit malaria parasites

Science Daily - November 7, 2019 - 21:07
Female mosquitoes that have mated are more likely to transmit malaria parasites than virgin females, according to a new study.

Research reveals how malaria parasite plans ahead, preparing blueprint to strike in humans

Science Daily - October 31, 2019 - 15:25
Within seconds after an infected mosquito bites, the malaria parasite navigates the host skin and blood vessels to invade the liver, where it will stay embedded until thousands of infected cells launch malaria's deadly blood-stage infection. Now, for the first time, a team describes how malaria Plasmodium parasites prepare for this journey. Researchers say this knowledge may help identify new strategies to block transmission of the parasite.

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