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Open data on malaria genomes will help combat drug resistance

Science Daily - February 24, 2021 - 14:06
Genome variation data on more than 7,000 malaria parasites from 28 endemic countries is released today. It has been produced by MalariaGEN, a data-sharing network of groups around the world who are working together to build high-quality data resources for malaria research and disease control. This open data release provides benchmark data on parasite genome variation that is needed in the search for new drugs and vaccines, and in the development of surveillance tools for malaria control and elimination.

Magnetic attraction: Breakthrough test for malaria

Science Daily - February 18, 2021 - 16:40
After nearly a decade of research, a new test that detects the magnetic properties of malaria-infected blood could soon be used to help eliminate the mosquito-borne disease.

Cone snail venom shows potential for treating severe malaria

Science Daily - February 18, 2021 - 14:45
Using venom from a cone snail, a new study suggests these conotoxins may potentially treat malaria. The study provides important leads toward the development of new and cost-effective anti-adhesion or blockade-therapy drugs aimed at counteracting the pathology of severe malaria. Similarly, mitigation of emerging diseases like COVID-19 also could benefit from conotoxins as potential inhibitors of protein-protein interactions as treatment. Venom peptides from cone snails has the potential to treat myriad diseases using blockage therapies.

Tap water access linked to dengue risk

Science Daily - February 11, 2021 - 19:44
Dengue virus is among growing number of mosquito-borne viruses that have adapted to spread in urban environments and are spreading with the increasing rate of urbanization. Now, researchers have identified tap water access in densely populated neighborhoods as a strong predictor of dengue risk in the city of Delhi.

Challenges for Malaria Elimination: Cycles of Poverty news - February 9, 2021 - 09:14
By Corey Rathe, Sabrina Barrett, Hannah Hidle, Emma Weimer Malaria is a serious and life-threatening disease – it is also preventable and treatable. So, why does malaria continue to devastate the lives of hundreds of millions each year? Poverty cycles hold much of this responsibility. Disease and suffering are amplified through overwhelming and cyclical traps. […]

New technique rapidly quantifies immune response following vaccination

Science Daily - February 4, 2021 - 17:01
A global team of researchers has developed a new strategy for fast and reliable antibody tests, which can quantify the immune response induced by vaccination and reveal the timeline and stage of pathogen infection. The team's one-step quantitative antibody tests are conducted using (blood) serum and are on a par with the gold-standard, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.

Malaria threw human evolution into overdrive on this African archipelago

Science Daily - January 28, 2021 - 18:47
Malaria is an ancient scourge, but it's still leaving its mark on the human genome. And now, researchers have uncovered recent traces of adaptation to malaria in the islanders of Cabo Verde -- thanks to a genetic mutation, inherited from their African ancestors, that prevents a type of malaria parasite from invading red blood cells. The findings represent one of the speediest, most dramatic changes measured in the human genome.

Malaria tricks the brain's defense system

Science Daily - January 26, 2021 - 18:40
Malaria is one of the most common causes of death in children in Africa. When the parasite builds up in the blood vessels of the brain, it develops into one of the most dangerous forms of the disease, cerebral malaria. Though it wasn't certain if the parasite was able to penetrate the brain tissue, now researchers have found parasites can do that and have mapped the mechanism they utilize.

Fighting cancer from a chair

Science Daily - January 25, 2021 - 16:31
Cisplatin has been used to treat cancer since the 1970s. Since then, many other platinum-containing cytostatic drugs have been developed, such as triplatinNC, a highly charged complex that contains three ligand-bridged platinum atoms. Unlike cisplatin, this drug also directly inhibits metastasis. The reason for this seems to be modulation of the geometry of a sugar component of heparan sulfate, an important component of the extracellular matrix.

Scientists artificially infect mosquitoes with human malaria to advance treatment

Science Daily - January 14, 2021 - 16:19
Scientists have identified novel antiplasmodial lead compounds for mass drug administration and vector control to eliminate malaria.

Bacteria carried by mosquitoes may protect them against pesticides

Science Daily - January 13, 2021 - 15:08
Mosquitoes are transmitters of several diseases and pesticides are used to control their numbers in many countries. New study finds Wolbachia - a bacteria commonly found in insects - appears to protect them against these pesticides.

Getting to Know Plasmodium knowlesi: The New Parasite on the Block news - January 11, 2021 - 12:08
By Matt Boyce, Gretchen Mohr, and Eva Rest Plasmodium knowlesi, one species of the multiple protozoan parasites that cause malaria, has joined the lineup of human malaria parasites. P. knowlesi was originally known to cause malaria in long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques typically found in Southeast Asia (Figure 1). Only within the last two decades have […]

Multiple mosquito blood meals accelerate malaria transmission

Science Daily - December 31, 2020 - 19:14
Multiple bouts of blood feeding by mosquitoes shorten the incubation period for malaria parasites and increase malaria transmission potential, according to a new study.

Asian tiger mosquito poses low risk for Zika virus outbreaks

Science Daily - December 31, 2020 - 19:14
The Asian tiger mosquito does not pose a major risk for Zika virus epidemics, according to a new study.

Researchers use artificial intelligence to ID mosquitoes

Science Daily - December 17, 2020 - 19:52
Rapid and accurate identification of mosquitoes that transmit human pathogens such as malaria is an essential part of mosquito-borne disease surveillance. Now, researchers have shown the effectiveness of an artificial intelligence system -- known as a Convoluted Neural Network -- to classify mosquito sex, genus, species and strain.

More West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in lower-income areas of Baltimore

Science Daily - December 17, 2020 - 18:52
Researchers found higher rates of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes in lower-income neighborhoods in urban areas of Baltimore, Maryland. This preliminary data provides another piece of the puzzle pointing to higher risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases in these neighborhoods already struggling with environmental injustices and poorer health outcomes.

Amphibian die-offs worsened malaria outbreaks in Central America

Science Daily - December 3, 2020 - 00:27
The global collapse of frogs and other amphibians due to the amphibian chytrid fungus exacerbated malaria outbreaks in Costa Rica and Panama during the 1990s and 2000s, according to new research. The findings provide the first evidence that amphibian population declines have directly affected human health and show how preserving biodiversity can benefit humans as well as local ecosystems.

Researchers pioneer more effective way to block malaria transmission in mosquitoes

Science Daily - November 3, 2020 - 19:06
Employing a strategy known as 'population modification,' which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, researchers have made a major advance in the use of genetic technologies to control the transmission of malaria parasites.

Malaria test as simple as a bandage

Science Daily - November 2, 2020 - 16:59
A test for malaria looks like a bandage, but can diagnose the disease in minutes without the need for medical expertise or specialized equipment.

Malaria parasites adapt to survive the dry season

Science Daily - October 30, 2020 - 15:18
The main parasite that causes malaria can alter its gene expression to survive undetected in the human blood stream, new research has shown.


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