An international group of researchers working in more than 20 laboratories around the globe have determined genetic blueprints for the parasites that cause three deadly insect-borne diseases: African sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. The research, funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is published in this weeks issue of Science. Knowing the full genetic make-up of the three parasites--Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania major--could lead to better ways to treat or prevent the diseases they cause.
"Although relatively unfamiliar in the United States, the collective misery caused by these diseases throughout the world is considerable. Having these genomes in hand will give us many new targets for drug and vaccine development," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
All three diseases are spread by insects. T. brucei, which causes sleeping sickness, is spread by the tsetse fly and is found in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization estimates there may be as many as 500,000 cases of sleeping sickness each year. If left untreated, sleeping sickness is fatal. Various forms of leishmaniasis are spread by the sandfly and are endemic in 88 countries on five continents. Visceral leishmaniasis, also known as kala azar, is the most severe form of the disease and causes high fever, a swollen spleen and severe weight loss before killing its victims. Cutaneous leishmaniasis, also known as "Baghdad boil," produces numerous skin ulcers that can leave sufferers permanently scarred. Some 1,000 American service members have been diagnosed with cutaneous leishmaniasis according to testimony by Walter Reed Army Institute of Researchs Alan Magill, M.D., at an Institute of Medicine meeting in May 2005. T. cruzi causes Chagas disease and is spread through the infected feces of an insect sometimes called the "kissing bug" for its habit of biting near a persons mouth. Found throughout Central and South America, Chagas disease is particularly prevalent among the poor and claims 50,000 lives each year.
Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences