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Malaria

— Biology

Mutant mosquitos with glowing red eyes offer eco-friendly malaria control

We've seen genetic engineering used in various ways in an attempt to combat the spread of malaria by mosquitoes, including rendering the insects flightless, altering their sense of smell, making them infertile, and making them unable to spread the disease. Now another approach has been added to the list with scientists at the University of California developing a CRISPR/Cas9 technique that could stop entire mosquito populations from transmitting the malaria parasite to humans.

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— Biology

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes genetically modified to pass on infertiity

The old joke says that infertility isn't hereditary, but a team of scientists at Imperial College London is proving it wrong as a way to fight malaria. Using gene splicing, the team is working on a way to introduce a strain of infertility into female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes that can be passed from one generation to the next to significantly cut, if not eradicate, local populations of the malaria-carrying insect.

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— Medical

Malaria vaccine for pregnant women reveals promising target for cancer therapy

The apparent parallels between aggressive tumor development and the way a placenta grows inside a pregnant woman have intrigued cancer researchers for years. Evolving from only a small number of cells into several-pound organ in the space of a few months, scientists have long suspected that the placenta could hold clues to understanding and ultimately beating cancer. Now the ongoing search for a malaria vaccine has inadvertently uncovered one of its more promising secrets that holds potential for the development of a treatment for the deadly disease.

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— Medical

Malaria vaccine candidate shown to prevent thousands of cases

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
— Medical

Breath test for malaria is in the air

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
— Medical

Satellites and GIS help developing countries target deadly parasites

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
— Medical

Compound kills off malaria by making infected cells appear as aging red blood cells

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
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