Artemisinin is a drug used to treat multi-drug resistant strains of falciparum malaria. The compound (a sesquiterpene lactone) is isolated from the plant Artemisia annua. Not all plants of this species contain artemisinin.
A protein that plays an important biological role in the malaria-causing parasite has been discovered by an international research team.
Scientists have accomplished a major breakthrough by altering a microorganism to efficiently create a target compound using CRISPR-based gene editing.
Even when a person suffering from malaria is burning up with fever and too sick to function, the tiny blood-eating parasites lurking inside them continue to flourish, relentlessly growing and multiplying as they gobble up the host's red blood cells.