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Parasites

NTU Prof Peter Preiser and scientist Dr Annie Gao

A new discovery by scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) holds promise for the development of a Malaria vaccine. The result of five years research, the breakthrough is based on the ability to block the invasion of red blood cells by the deadly parasite.  Read More

Anopheles mosquito after taking a snack (Photo: US Center for Disease Control and Preventi...

A small company in the U.K. is developing an affordable, hand-held device that will not only diagnose malaria in the field, but will also read DNA markers that suggest which antimalarial drugs will be most effective for treatment. If fielded, such a device could help alleviate the 200+ million cases of malaria per year, as well as prevent some of the nearly one million deaths associated with malarial illness.  Read More

A female mosquito probes for a meal (Photo: Shutterstock)

With malaria still responsible for millions of untimely deaths in more than 90 countries each year, the search for effective antimalarial drugs, vaccines and mosquito repellents continues to heat up. Recently, researchers at the University of Illinois (UI), led by chemistry professor Eric Oldfield, found that a chemically-altered form of a commonly prescribed osteoporosis drug can easily enter red blood cells and dispatch malaria parasites without harming the host (in this case, a mouse). That's potentially huge news for the countless thousands who continue to suffer from this recurrent, debilitating and all-too-often fatal disease.  Read More

An uncomfortably-large image of a body louse (Photo: Frank Collins, Ph.D)

An international team of scientists has successfully sequenced the genome of that most majestic of creatures, the body louse. Like head lice, body lice attach themselves to human hosts and live off their blood. Unlike head lice, however, body lice can spread bacterial diseases. By understanding more about the creature, the team hopes to develop better methods of controlling it.  Read More

The complete BokashiPetCycle Fermenting System

What do you do with your dog or cat poop? Toss it in the garbage? Put it in your compost heap? Hurl it at your noisy neighbors? Well, according to Seattle researcher Lawrence Green, you shouldn’t be doing any of those things. Feces can contain wonderful things like toxoplasma parasites, E. coli, and salmonella bacteria, which can get into the groundwater. In plastic bags in landfills, it generates methane gas and attracts vermin. To that end, Green developed a product called the BokashiPetCycle Fermenting System. It allows you to pickle your pet’s poop, turning it into a harmless plant fertilizer.  Read More

It ain't pretty, but hookworms like this may help prevent asthma and other allergies - the...

There has been a worldwide increase in the prevalence of asthma and other allergies over the last century. With the biggest jump in cases coming from the developed world, it's been theorized that the rise in such diseases could be the unintended result of the success of modern hygiene in preventing childhood infections. A new study conducted in Vietnam has added credence to the view that parasitic gut worms, such as hookworm, could help in the prevention and treatment of asthma and other allergies.  Read More

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