Researchers profile malaria parasite genomeFebruary 6th, 2010 - 1:13 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 6 (IANS) Researchers have achieved a breakthrough by successfully profiling the malaria parasite genome for the first time - opening the way to more potent drugs for the disease that kills up to three million people every year.
The breakthrough was achieved by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University’s (SNTU) School of Biological Sciences.
Zbynek Bozdech, assistant professor, and his team of researchers relied on transcriptional profiling to uncover hitherto unknown gene expression (activity) patterns in malaria.
Transcriptional profiling is the measurement of the activity of thousands of genes at once to create a global picture of cellular function.
These profiles can, for example, distinguish between cells that are actively dividing, or show how the cells react to a particular treatment.
The complete DNA content (genome) of the deadliest malaria parasite P. falciparum has about 5,300 genes. Until now, scientists had a good understanding of about half of them.
Bozdech’s team has successfully uncovered the gene functions for almost the entire genome, with more than 90 percent of the gene functions from the previously unknown half now better understood.
“Drawing on our findings, pharmaceutical companies could explore ways to design a drug that targets the weakest link,” said Bozdech. “We have predicted all the genes that could be used for a vaccine as well,” he said, according to a SNTU release.
Researchers at Germany’s renowned Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine have validated the research findings, which are expected to provide exciting new insights into parasite biology.
These findings appeared in Nature Biotechnology, a sister publication of Nature.
- World's first in-depth study of malaria parasite genome completed - Feb 06, 2010
- New study could improve diagnosis and treatment of malaria - Sep 09, 2010
- India-origin scientist's findings may hold key to novel malaria vaccines - Oct 22, 2010
- Breakthrough may pave way for new malaria drugs - Nov 27, 2011
- Scientists crack protein code of killer parasite - Jan 09, 2012
- Scientists closer to developing anti-malaria shot - Aug 06, 2012
- Genes that aid antimalarial drug resistance identified - Apr 22, 2011
- New discovery opens up novel strategy for combating malaria - Mar 09, 2011
- New way found to kill malaria parasite - Mar 09, 2011
- Boffins create malaria-proof mosquito - Jul 16, 2010
- New drug starves malaria parasite to death - Dec 08, 2011
- How malaria-causing parasites survive inside human blood cells - Aug 05, 2010
- Study sheds new light into process of malarial drug resistance - Nov 27, 2008
- How malaria parasite spreads in red blood cells - Feb 19, 2010
- Human malarial parasite came from gorillas, not chimps - Sep 23, 2010
Tags: activity patterns, bernhard nocht institute, biological sciences, cellular function, dna content, falciparum, gene expression, gene functions, good understanding, malaria parasite, nanyang technological university, nature biotechnology, new insights, parasite biology, parasite genome, potent drugs, research findings, sister publication, tropical medicine, weakest link