Malaria causes an estimated 500 million clinical cases worldwide with symptoms ranging from headache, high fevers and nausea to more than 1 million deaths annually.
“Malaria has had a major effect on the evolution of our species. Mutations occurring in our genome that have helped us survive malaria have been selected for over tens of 1,000s of years of co-existing with this parasite.
Understanding how these mutations make us more resistant to malaria can help us design innovative new strategies to prevent or treat severe malaria in places such as sub-Saharan Africa,” says researcher Kevin Kain, a Professor out of the Department of Medicine at U of T and one of the lead researchers on the project. “Our research shows that people who have an enzyme deficiency or those who carry the gene trait for this deficiency may be protected from severe and fatal malaria.”
The team headed by Dr. Kain and which included researchers from McGill University found that a deficiency in an enzyme called pyruvate kinase, which is required for energy production in the body, provides protection against malaria infection.
The findings could lead to the design of new novel therapies to treat and prevent severe and fatal malaria through enhancing the body’s protective pathways instead of inundating the body with drugs. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Team grant in malaria.
The study findings were published in the April 24th issue of New England Journal of Medicine.
Christa Poole | EurekAlert!
NUI Galway highlights reproductive flexibility in hydractinia, a Galway bay jellyfish
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The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.
Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...
Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.
Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...
Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices
The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.
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After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.
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