Underwater creatures may hold key to malaria cure

June 29th, 2010 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 29 (ANI): A research team, including an Indian-origin boffin, has revealed that sponges, sea worms and other underwater creatures may hold the key to cure for malaria.

University of Central Florida scientist Debopam Chakrabarti is analyzing more than 2,500 samples from marine organisms collected off deep sea near Florida’s coast. Some of them could hold the key to developing drugs to fight malaria.

Chakrabarti is pursuing this study with Amy Wright of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, whose team has collected these samples from a depth up to 3000 feet.

Chakrabarti is excited about the early promising results - preliminary tests identified about 300 samples that can kill malaria parasites.

He’s also concerned, however, that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may wipe out species that could hold healing properties for many deadly diseases.

“There is a very good possibility that the answers to cancers, malaria and other diseases may be found in the ocean,” he said. (ANI)

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