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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.
Health systems in developing world need to be strengthened to stop Ebola-style outbreak

Health systems in developing world need to be strengthened to stop Ebola-style outbreak

Health systems throughout the developing world need to be strengthened to prevent another Ebola-style outbreak, or worse, warns Save the Children in its new report "A Wake Up Call: Lessons from Ebola for the World's Health Systems." [More]
Dengue fever circulating in urban areas of West Africa

Dengue fever circulating in urban areas of West Africa

Misdiagnosis of febrile illnesses as malaria is a continuing problem in Africa. A new study shows that in Ghana, dengue fever is circulating in urban areas and going undiagnosed. The authors of the study hope to use the findings to launch a widespread initiative to better understand acute undifferentiated febrile illnesses in West Africa. [More]
Scientists sequence genome of hookworm

Scientists sequence genome of hookworm

In an advance that may potentially lead to new treatments for parasitic hookworms, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Cornell University have sequenced the genome of the hookworm, Ancylostoma ceylanicum. [More]
Scientists confirm relation between levels of certain pollutants in the body and levels of obesity

Scientists confirm relation between levels of certain pollutants in the body and levels of obesity

A team of Spanish scientists, which includes several researchers from the University of Granada, has confirmed that there is a relation between the levels of certain environmental pollutants that a person accumulates in his or her body and their level of obesity. Subjects with more pollutants in their organisms present besides higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. [More]
Researchers reveal that mosquitoes’ sexual biology may key to malaria transmission

Researchers reveal that mosquitoes’ sexual biology may key to malaria transmission

Sexual biology may be the key to uncovering why Anopheles mosquitoes are unique in their ability to transmit malaria to humans, according to researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and University of Perugia, Italy. [More]
UMass Amherst biologist partners with Chinese scientist to develop novel drug platform

UMass Amherst biologist partners with Chinese scientist to develop novel drug platform

Margaret Riley, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and pioneer in fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, announced this week that she is partnering with a Chinese scientist to develop a new drug platform, pheromonicins. The Chinese government is committing $400 million per year to support the newly created Pheromonicin Institute of Beijing. [More]
Researchers reveal how malaria parasite deploys genetic trickery to escape immune system attack

Researchers reveal how malaria parasite deploys genetic trickery to escape immune system attack

Up to one million people -- mainly pregnant woman and young children -- are killed each year by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which causes the most devastating form of human malaria. [More]
Study findings could lead to new potential drug targets for allergic diseases

Study findings could lead to new potential drug targets for allergic diseases

Scientists have discovered over 30 new genes that predispose people to allergies and asthma, some of which could be targets for new drugs. [More]
UCSD researchers make new attempt to develop malaria vaccine candidate

UCSD researchers make new attempt to develop malaria vaccine candidate

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine used algae as a mini-factory to produce a malaria parasite protein. The algae-produced protein, paired with an immune-boosting cocktail suitable for use in humans, generated antibodies in mice that nearly eliminated mosquito infection by the malaria parasite. [More]
UNICEF and UNAIDS go ‘All In’ to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents

UNICEF and UNAIDS go ‘All In’ to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents

AIDS has become the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Just one in four children and adolescents under the age of 15 have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Deaths are declining in all age groups, except among 10–19 year olds. [More]
Researchers describe new family of bacteria common in malaria mosquitoes

Researchers describe new family of bacteria common in malaria mosquitoes

A new family of bacteria that are common in malaria mosquitoes has been described by researchers at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Uppsala University in Sweden, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany, and the Veterinärmedizinische Universität, Austria. [More]
Report: Proposed SDGs may not achieve policy objectives without clearer, more measurable targets

Report: Proposed SDGs may not achieve policy objectives without clearer, more measurable targets

The proposed UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a universal set of goals to guide international development to 2030 - will struggle to achieve their stated policy objectives without clearer, more measurable targets, according to a new report released today by the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council. [More]
Discovery offers much needed information about how virulent insect-borne diseases cause infection

Discovery offers much needed information about how virulent insect-borne diseases cause infection

For decades, scientists have thought the bacteria that cause the bubonic plague hijack host cells at the site of a fleabite and are then taken to the lymph nodes, where the bacteria multiply and trigger severe disease. But UNC School of Medicine researchers discovered that this accepted theory is off base. The bacteria do not use host cells; they traffic to lymph nodes on their own and not in great numbers. [More]
Climate change causes emergence of more infectious diseases

Climate change causes emergence of more infectious diseases

The appearance of infectious diseases in new places and new hosts, such as West Nile virus and Ebola, is a predictable result of climate change, says a noted zoologist affiliated with the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. [More]
New study indicates that malaria-causing parasite is unlikely to cross from animals to humans

New study indicates that malaria-causing parasite is unlikely to cross from animals to humans

In recent years, public health experts have increasingly explored the idea of eliminating the most dangerous malaria-causing parasite. But they have questioned whether getting rid of this species, called Plasmodium falciparum, would allow other species of the parasite to simply jump into the gap and start infecting humans with malaria. [More]
Researchers develop novel approach to identify potential antimalarial drugs

Researchers develop novel approach to identify potential antimalarial drugs

Each year nearly 600,000 people--mostly children under age five and pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa--die from malaria, caused by single-celled parasites that grow inside red blood cells. The most deadly malarial species--Plasmodium falciparum--has proven notoriously resistant to treatment efforts. [More]
Physical, psychosocial factors can significantly increase risk of low back pain

Physical, psychosocial factors can significantly increase risk of low back pain

New research reveals the physical and psychosocial factors that significantly increase the risk of low back pain onset. In fact results published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, show that being engaged in manual tasks involving awkward positions will increase the risk of low back pain by eight times. Those who are distracted during activities or fatigued also significantly increase their risk of acute low back pain. [More]
Researchers assess causes of febrile illnesses in Tanzanian children

Researchers assess causes of febrile illnesses in Tanzanian children

Valérie D'Acremont led the research team from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel and the Policlinique Médicale Universitaire in Lausanne, who systematically assessed the causes of febrile illnesses in Tanzanian children. According to the published paper, in most cases a treatment with antimalarials or antibiotics is not required. [More]
MIT engineers discover way to grow liver-like cells to test potential malaria drugs

MIT engineers discover way to grow liver-like cells to test potential malaria drugs

In 2008, the World Health Organization announced a global effort to eradicate malaria, which kills about 800,000 people every year. As part of that goal, scientists are trying to develop new drugs that target the malaria parasite during the stage when it infects the human liver, which is crucial because some strains of malaria can lie dormant in the liver for several years before flaring up. [More]
Researchers suggest novel concept for developing vaccines against HIV and cancer

Researchers suggest novel concept for developing vaccines against HIV and cancer

A experimental trial has shown successful by inducing serum in mice and has been highly neutralizing towards those ailments. [More]