Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malaria study goes to the desert

17.05.2006


Scientists studying malaria-carrying mosquitoes and the effects of the disease on people are about to undertake a unique experiment in West Africa.



The researchers plan to examine the factors in climate variation that can affect disease epidemics. They have built an indoor experimental lab in the guise of a specially constructed traditional African thatched hut, to replicate conditions that many people live in. Located in the Sahel region of Niger, the hut is equipped with instruments to study the temperature, humidity, soil conditions and other factors that affect the behaviour of the mosquitoes.

The project team involves scientists from the Universities of Leeds and Liverpool, and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Funding has been provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)


Dr Andy Morse from the University of Liverpool, who is leading the malaria project says: “Predicting the West African monsoon and its likely effects is more difficult than, for example, relating rainfall patterns to malaria in Southern Africa. By assessing local climate factors that lead to increased disease risk, and looking at long range meteorological forecasts for the region from global models, we can contribute to the eventual creation of a malaria model that predicts likely epidemics - ultimately becoming a component within a disease early warning system.”

The project will help to assess the variations between seasonal malaria and its effects on people – some with natural immunity in malarial regions and others who will have no immunity to the disease due to its infrequent occurrence where they live. In these regions variations in climate could make malaria epidemics more common.

This research forms part of an EU funded project - the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) and aims to show how the climate can affect the transmission patterns of malaria. The malaria transmission data is provided through collaboration with CERMES - a Niger based medical research centre.

Malaria is a major health and economic issue in Africa – it is a bigger killer than AIDS and more Africans die on a daily basis from malaria than any other cause, according to the World Health Foundation. Malaria kills over 1 million people each year with the majority of these being children; Child mortality rates are currently at around 30%.

By comparing information from ground based instruments and from the NERC/Met Office BAe 146 aircraft - which will make measurements in the skies above West Africa - improvements in scientific understanding will contribute to the building of a predictive model of the malaria risks for the region. Satellite images will also help the researchers to identify where the wet and humid areas, which encourage mosquitoes, will occur after rainfall.

Some of the scientists will leave for Niger next week (week commencing 22 May) to prepare for the research programme, which will run until August 2006.

Marion O’Sullivan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nerc.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Vanishing capillaries
23.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>