Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium - when infected mosquitoes bite the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Even though this potentially fatal disease can be prevented and cured, each year 350-500 million cases of malaria still occur worldwide, and over one million people die, most of them young children in Africa south of the Sahara, where one in every five (20%) childhood deaths is due to the effects of the disease.
Malaria is so common in Africa because a lack of resources and political instability have prevented the building of solid malaria control programs. Experts say an African child has on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) as many as half of the world's population are at risk of malaria mainly in the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries and every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria.
To control mosquito populations and prevent them from transmitting diseases such as malaria, many researchers are pursuing strategies in mosquito genetic engineering. A new Texas A&M AgriLife Research project aims to enable temporary "test runs" of proposed genetic changes in mosquitoes, after which the changes remove themselves from the mosquitoes' genetic code.
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Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have developed a new way to diagnose diseases of the blood like sickle cell disease with sensitivity and precision and in only one minute.
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It's one of the world's deadliest animals, and it has a taste for human blood: the mosquito. Mosquitoes spread diseases like malaria, dengue, and yellow fever that kill at least a half a million people each year. Now researchers are learning what humans taste like to mosquitoes, down to the individual neurons that sense blood's distinctive, delectable flavor.
Virologists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute have been working on two lines of SARS-CoV-2 research: searching for a vaccine to prevent infection, and testing existing drugs to see which one can reduce the amount of virus in infected people.
The Plasmodium parasite, which transmits malaria to humans through infected mosquitos, triggers changes in human genes that alter the body's adaptive immune response to malarial infections, according to a team of researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi.
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.
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Researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT's research enterprise in Singapore, have discovered a new way to manufacture human red blood cells (RBCs) that cuts the culture time by half compared to existing methods and uses novel sorting and purification methods that are faster, more precise and less costly.
The first cell atlas of mosquito immune cells recently created by researchers can help interpret how mosquitoes combat various infections, including malaria.
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But there is still an opportunity to substantially reduce the death toll by prioritizing the most critical services, specifically antiretroviral therapy for HIV, timely TB diagnosis and treatment, and provision of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets for malaria, researchers say.
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New research from the Francis Crick Institute has found how the malaria parasite protects itself from toxic compounds in red blood cells.