Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Australian-based research team finds the malaria parasite’s ’housebreaking tool’

29.08.2005


Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria parasite, is a housebreaking villain of the red blood cell world. Like a burglar searching for a way in to his targeted premises, the parasite explores a variety of potential entry points to invade the red blood cells of its human victims. When a weak point is found, the intrusion proceeds.



Scientists have known about the parasite’s housebreaking habit for a decade, but just how it breaks in to blood cells has been unknown.

Now, an international team of scientists, led by WEHI’s Professor Alan Cowman, has discovered the gene - known as PfRh4 - that the parasite uses as a tool to switch between potential invasion points. More specifically, the gene provides the parasite with the ability to switch from receptors on red blood cells that contain sialic acid to those that do not.


In effect, if the gene finds all the doors locked, then it will try all the windows until it finds one it can force open.

The team who performed the research work consisted of Janine Stubbs, Ken Simpson, Tony Triglia, David Plouffe, Christopher J. Tonkin, Manoj T. Duraisingh, Alexander G. Maier and Elizabeth Winzeler. Professor Cowman and his team at WEHI worked with researchers from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla, California and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego, California.

This discovery made by the group will have a profound impact upon the design of new anti-malarial vaccines, since the inactivation of this single protein could block multiple entry points currently open to the parasite.

Professor Cowman is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute international research scholar. The results of the new study are published in the 26 August 2005 issue of the prestigious journal, Science.

Brad Allen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.researchaustralia.com.au
http://www.wehi.edu.au

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Are there sustainable solutions in dealing with dwindling phosphorus resources?
16.10.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Nutzierbiologie (FBN)

nachricht Strange undertakings: ant queens bury dead to prevent disease
13.10.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>