Published the 20/10/2010 in Press Releases
Malaria research begins to bite
Scientists at The University of Nottingham and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge have pin-pointed the 72 molecular switches that control the three key stages in the life cycle of the malaria parasite and have discovered that over a third of these switches can be disrupted in some way.
Their research which has been funded by Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council (MRC) is a significant breakthrough in the search for cheap and effective vaccines and drugs to stop the transmission of a disease which kills up to a million children a year.
Until now little has been known about the cellular processes involved in the development of this deadly disease. The research, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe (: 10.1016/j.chom.2010.09.006 ), involved the very first comprehensive functional analysis of protein kinases in any malaria parasite. It is also the largest gene knock-out study in Plasmodium berghei — a malaria parasite infecting rodents.