Scientists are making strides in understanding how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum disguises itself to avoid detection by the immune system. The findings could lead to the development of new drugs for a disease that causes more than 300 million acute illnesses and at least one million deaths each year, most of them in developing countries.
Individuals infected with malaria cannot develop an effective immune response because the parasite that causes the disease is a master of disguise. Throughout its lifetime, P. falciparum continually changes the version of a protein known as PfEMP1 that it deposits on the surface of infected cells. By the time the immune system learns to recognize the protein and starts making antibodies against it, the parasite has switched to another form of the protein, and the game of hide and seek starts over.
In a new study, scientists led by Alan Cowman and Brendan Crabb, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholars at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, set out to test the hypothesis that P. falciparum uses gene silencing to mask its presence. Their findings are published in the April 8, 2005, issue of the journal Cell. The study also involved researchers from Monash University in Clayton, Australia, the University of Melbourne, and the Institut Pasteur in Paris.
Jennifer Donovan | EurekAlert!
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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