Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New, non-radioactive screen for antimalarial compounds

17.02.2004


Molecular Probes technology powers breakthrough in drug discovery



Panama’s International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) announces the development of a new test for identification of antimalarial compounds with wide applicability in the developing world. The assay for plant-derived compounds also can be used to detect anti-plasmodial compounds from synthetic or natural sources. Initial results of the research are published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene under the title "A Novel DNA-Based Microfluorometric Method to Evaluate Antimalarial Drug Activity".

The assay is based on fluorochrome binding to parasite double stranded DNA. Pico Green, a powerful fluorochrome developed by Invitrogen Corporation’s Molecular Probes business enables detection of the malaria parasite in cell culture without the need for radioactive materials used in current methods. The new assay will be attractive in developing countries where access and disposal of radioactive tracers is prohibitively expensive as well as in the many developed-world labs that prefer non-radioactive reagents.


The new method will be attractive to researchers because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to implement in biodiverse developing countries and most importantly, safe according to Yolanda Corbett who developed the assay in Dr. Eduardo Ortega’s lab: "A fluorescent DNA probe is safer and is a novel approach in the sense that red blood cells don’t have DNA, so we could quantify the parasite in microtiter plates."

Malaria kills more than a million people each year in Africa alone and threatens nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. The major impediment to malaria control is the cost and distribution of antimalarial drugs. Every year, antimalarial treatments become less effective as drug resistant strains of the malaria parasite develop, making the discovery of new antimalarials essential in this fight against the disease.

"The most important aspect of the work we do at Invitrogen is speeding and improving the research process itself," explained August Sick, General Manager of Molecular Probes. "Rather than merely producing a tool to do the job, we look for ways to provide researchers solutions that help them make their work more cost effective, rapid and safe."

The Panama ICBG is one of several experimental efforts funded by the United States National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Agriculture to promote drug discovery and technology transfer between nations.

"A major goal of the Panama ICBG program is the transfer and development of technologies necessary to promote research into tropical parasitic diseases such as malaria, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, especially in biodiversity rich countries where these diseases affect three billion people," said Dr. Todd Capson at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "The ability to screen fresh plant extracts in biodiverse regions will drastically reduce the price tag for drug discovery, result in a cadre of trained professionals and buttress local and international conservation efforts in developing countries where investment in research is still viewed as a risky proposition."

Capson explained that Panama is an ideal setting for this research as a biologically diverse, developing country with a talented pool of researchers and where malaria strains resistant to conventional treatments pose a growing threat.

In addition to the research being done in Panama, researchers in Bolivia, Italy and Madagascar have adopted the new technique. Michel Ratsimbason, researcher from Madagascar’s National Pharmaceutical Research Center (CNARP), visited Panama in a South-South technology transfer program between ICBG Madagascar and ICBG Panama: "We trained in the use of the ds-DNA fluorescence technique. The technique allows us to screen new substances to fight malaria which affects and kills so many people in Madagascar and Africa, where parasite resistance to chlorquine is gaining ground."


About ICBG

The International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) Program is a unique effort that addresses the interdependent issues of drug discovery, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable economic growth. Funding for this program has been provided by six components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Biological Sciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Foreign Agriculture Service of the USDA. The cooperating NIH components are the Fogarty International Center (FIC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

About Invitrogen

Invitrogen Corporation (Nasdaq:IVGN) provides products and services that support academic and government research institutions and pharmaceutical and biotech companies worldwide in their efforts to improve the human condition. The company provides essential life science technologies for disease research, drug discovery, and commercial bio-production. Invitrogen’s own research and development efforts are focused on breakthrough innovation in all major areas of biological discovery including functional genomics, proteomics, bio-informatics and cell biology -- placing Invitrogen’s products in nearly every major laboratory in the world. Founded in 1987, Invitrogen is headquartered in Carlsbad, California and conducts business in more than 70 countries around the world. The company globally employs approximately 3,000 scientists and other professionals. For more information about Invitrogen visit the company’s web site at www.invitrogen.com

About STRI

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is an international research center established in Panama by the Smithsonian Institution to increase knowledge of the past, present and future of tropical biodiversity and its importance to humanity. For more than 90 years, researchers, students and associates have conducted research in forest and marine habitats in Panama and at other sites throughout tropical regions of the world.

Beth King | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.si.edu/
http://www.stri.org
http://www.fic.nih.gov/programs/icbg.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>