Oz scientists make breakthrough in malaria treatment.
Washington, Feb 04 (ANI): Australian scientists have made a major breakthrough in the global fight against malaria.
Monash University Facilities in are diverse and vary in services offered. Information on residential sevices at Monash University, including on-campus (MRS managed) and off-campus, can be found at  Student organisations researchers have been able to deactivate de·ac·ti·vate
tr.v. de·ac·ti·vat·ed, de·ac·ti·vat·ing, de·ac·ti·vates
1. To render inactive or ineffective.
2. To inhibit, block, or disrupt the action of (an enzyme or other biological agent).
3. the final stage of the malaria parasite's digestive machinery, effectively starving the parasite of nutrients and disabling its survival mechanism.
This process of starvation leads to the death of the parasite.
Professor James Whisstock, who conducted the research in collaboration with Professor John Dalton at the University of Technology, Sydney, said that the results had laid the scientific groundwork to further develop a specific class of drugs to treat the disease.
"About forty percent of the world's population are at risk of contracting malaria. It is only early days but this discovery could one day provide treatment for some of those 2.5 billion people across the globe," Whisstock said.
Researchers used the Australian Synchrotron The Australian Synchrotron is a 3 GeV synchrotron built in Melbourne, Australia and opened on 31 July 2007. It is located on the former site of the Clayton drive-in theatre, on Blackburn Rd, next to the Telstra research laboratories and across the road , located adjacent to Monash University's Clayton campus.
Lead author of the study, Dr Sheena McGowan, from the Monash University NHMRC NHMRC National Health and Medical Research Council program on protease protease /pro·te·ase/ (pro´te-as) endopeptidase.
Any of various enzymes, including the proteinases and peptidases, that catalyze the hydrolytic breakdown of proteins. systems biology, said that their findings prove their concept.
"We had an idea as to how malaria could be starved and we have shown this, chemically, can be done," McGowan said.
"A single bite from an infected mosquito can transfer the malaria parasite into a human's blood stream.
"The malaria parasite must then break down blood proteins in order to obtain nutrients. Malaria carries out the first stages of digestion inside a specialised compartment called the digestive vacuole - this can be considered to be like a stomach.
"However, the enzyme we have studied (known as PfA-M1), which is essential for parasite viability, is located outside the digestive vacuole meaning that it is easier to target from a drug perspective," McGowan added.
The research is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, usually referred to as PNAS, is the official journal of the United States National Academy of Sciences. U.S.A. (ANI)
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