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Malaria

A team of MIT researchers has discovered a new target for drug treatments for prevalent diseases such as malaria. The findings focus on a membrane between the parasite and its host cell, with scientists successfully identifying a family of proteins that, when targeted, could cut off nutrients to the parasite.

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A new study suggests that RTS,S/AS01, the prime candidate for a malaria vaccine and the first one to reach large-scale clinical testing, is partially effective especially among young African children for a period of up to four years after vaccination. The vaccine could potentially prevent millions of cases of clinical malaria, particularly in areas of high transmission like sub-Saharian Africa, and in the age group in which malaria is known to be the most lethal. Read More
At present, diagnosing malaria can be a difficult process involving powerful microscopes and careful scanning of blood samples for tiny parasites in a technique discovered in 1880. But a more accessible method may be in the works. A team of Australian scientists has discovered that certain chemicals are present and can be detected in the breath of sufferers, raising the possibility of a cheap breath test to diagnose the deadly disease. Read More
Typically, tests for diseases must be done one disease at a time, and can take days to be processed through a lab. A new device developed in an EU project, however, can test for several diseases at the same time and provide results within an hour. The LabDisk is designed for use in Africa. Read More
Each year, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries are affected by parasitic diseases. One of the most common is malaria, which kills more than a million people annually, mostly children under five years of age. Scientists are using satellite data combined with local health information uploaded into geographical information systems (GIS) to help developing countries better manage limited resources and target interventions in the fight against malaria and other deadly parasitic diseases. Read More
Though recent research has given hope to the anti-malaria cause, the deadly disease still claims more than half a million lives each year. A study led by researchers at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis suggests that a certain compound results in the body's immune system treating malaria-infected cells the same way it does aging red blood cells, leading to the parasite becoming undetectable in mice within 48 hours. Read More
Over the last ten years, a new type of malaria has been on the rise in the forests of Southeast Asia, and experts are turning to new technologies to try and figure out why. By using drones to observe the environment from above, researchers are gaining a new perspective on how changes to the terrain may be impacting local wildlife and causing the spread of the disease. Read More
Scientists at University College Cork in Ireland have successfully finished pre-clinical testing of an experimental vaccine against malaria delivered through the skin. The method is an improvement on this type of vaccine delivery, whose use is being researched in relation to other infections as well, including Ebola and HIV. Read More
While the World Health Organization (WHO) says increased preventative measures have seen malaria mortality rates fall by 42 percent since 2000, the disease still claims more than half a million lives each year. A study carried out by a team of Melbourne-based researchers has shown that blocking a gateway used by the parasite to export proteins ultimately causes it to die off, opening the door for the development of new types of anti-malarial drugs. Read More
According to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 207 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2012, 627,000 of which proved fatal. Unfortunately, the disease most often occurs in developing nations, where diagnostic equipment may not be available. This means that doctors can't determine the particular strain of malaria from which a patient is suffering, and thus don't know which medication will work best. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the Stanford School of Medicine, hopes to change that ... using his disposable folding paper microscope. Read More
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