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Current Parasites News and Events, Parasites News Articles.
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Recruitment starts on MS hookworm trial
Parasitic worms could offer a new treatment hope for patients suffering from the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, scientists believe. (2012-02-29)

Notre Dame researchers are providing insights into elephant behavior and conservation issues
University of Notre Dame researchers are using fieldwork and genetics research to uncover insights into elephant population genetics and social behavior as well as how human activities alter elephants' social and genetic structures. (2012-02-28)

UBC researcher invents 'lab on a chip' device to study malaria
University of British Columbia researcher Hongshen Ma has developed a simple and accurate device to study malaria, a disease that currently affects 500 million people per year worldwide and claims a million lives. (2012-02-28)

Do parasites evolve to exploit gender differences in hosts?
Some disease-causing parasites are known to favor one sex over the other in their host species, and such differences between the sexes have generally been attributed to differences in immune responses or behavior. But in a new article, published February 28 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, David Duneau and Dieter Ebert now propose that all sorts of characteristics that differ between the sexes of the host species can influence a parasite's adaptation. (2012-02-28)

Study extends the 'ecology of fear' to fear of parasites
Work at Washington University in St. Louis, just published in EcoHealth, shows that the ecology of fear, like other concepts from predator-prey theory, also extends to parasites. Raccoons and squirrels would give up food, the study demonstrated, if the area was infested with larval ticks. At some level, they are weighing the value of the abandoned food against the risk of being parasitized. (2012-02-24)

1 step closer to blocking the transmission of malaria
MMV and partners have completed the first-ever comparative analysis of all currently available and in-development antimalarials in terms of the steps they target in the parasite's life cycle. This information provides the missing pieces of the puzzle needed to develop future medicines able to block transmission of the parasite from person to person. (2012-02-22)

Iconic marine mammals are 'swimming in sick seas' of terrestrial pathogens: UBC researchers
Parasites and pathogens infecting humans, pets and farm animals are increasingly being detected in marine mammals such as sea otters, porpoises, harbor seals and killer whales along the Pacific coast of the US and Canada, and better surveillance is required to monitor public health implications, according to a panel of scientific experts from Canada and the United States. (2012-02-18)

To kill off parasites, an insect self-medicates with alcohol
Alcoholic drinks aren't generally put into the category of health food, but in some cases they might be just the cure for nasty parasites. That's according to a study published online on Feb. 16 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, showing that fruit flies will actually seek out alcohol to kill off blood-borne parasitic wasps living within them. (2012-02-16)

Fruit flies use alcohol as a drug to kill parasites
Fruit flies infected with a blood-borne parasite consume alcohol to self-medicate, a behavior that greatly increases their survival rate, an Emory University study finds. The Emory researchers say the results are the first to show that alcohol consumption can have a protective effect against infectious disease, and in particular against blood-borne parasites. The data raises an important question: Could other organisms, perhaps even humans, control blood-borne parasites through high doses of alcohol? (2012-02-16)

Malaria parasite goes bananas before sex: New study
New research from the University of Melbourne shows how the malaria parasite changes into a banana shape before sexual reproduction, a finding that could provide targets for vaccine or drug development and may explain how the parasite evades the human immune system. (2012-02-14)

Deadly bird parasite evolves at exceptionally fast rate
A new study of a devastating bird disease that spread from poultry to house finches in the mid-1990s reveals that the bacteria responsible for the disease evolves at an exceptionally fast rate. What's more, the fast-evolving microbe has lost a key chunk of its genome since jumping to its new host. The missing portion contained the genes that made up the microbe's immune system, researchers report in the journal PLoS Genetics. (2012-02-09)

Research on vitamins could lead to the design of novel drugs to combat malaria
New research by scientists at the University of Southampton could lead to the design of more effective drugs to combat malaria. (2012-01-27)

Improving crops from the roots up
Research involving scientists at the University of Nottingham has taken us a step closer to breeding hardier crops that can better adapt to different environmental conditions and fight off attack from parasites. (2012-01-24)

Notre Dame researchers report fundamental malaria discovery
A team of researchers led by Kasturi Haldar and Souvik Bhattacharjee of the University of Notre Dame's Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases has made a fundamental discovery in understanding how malaria parasites cause deadly disease. (2012-01-20)

2-timing and hybrids: RUB researchers look back on 100 million years of evolution
For about 100 million years, grass smut fungi have been breeding in a three-gender system. This was discovered by Dr. Ronny Kellner and professor Dr. Dominik Begerow of the RUB Geobotany Laboratory in cooperation with colleagues from the Heinrich Heine Universität in Duesseldorf. In the journal PLoS Genetics, the team also reports that the fungi in the experiment not only mate within their own species, but also form hybrids with other species -- and that after millions of years of separate evolution. (2012-01-17)

Counterfeit and substandard anti-malaria drugs threaten crisis in Africa, experts warn
Hopes of at last controlling malaria in Africa could be dashed by the emergence of poor quality and fraudulent anti-malarial medicines, warn experts writing in the Malaria Journal. Unless urgent action is taken both within Africa and internationally, they argue, millions of lives could be put at risk. (2012-01-17)

Study confirms new strategy in fight against infectious diseases
New research shows that infectious disease-fighting drugs could be designed to block a pathogen's entry into cells rather than to kill the bug itself. Historically, medications for infectious diseases have been designed to kill the offending pathogen. This new strategy is important, researchers say, because many parasites and bacteria can eventually mutate their way around drugs that target them, resulting in drug resistance. (2012-01-09)

Crucial gene activator in slow-killing parasite identified
Case Western Reserve University researchers have identified a gene activator crucial to development of flatworms that cause schistosomiasis - a potential target for a vaccine for the killer disease. (2012-01-05)

Scientists engineer mosquito immune system to fight Malaria
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have demonstrated that the Anopheles mosquito's innate immune system could be genetically engineered to block the transmission of malaria-causing parasites to humans. In addition, they showed that the genetic modification had limited impact on the mosquito's fitness under laboratory conditions. The researchers' findings are published Dec. 22 in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens. (2011-12-22)

Defending the genome
New research published in the journal Cell by the labs of William E. Theurkauf and Zhiping Weng at the University of Massachusetts Medical School sheds light on how the genome defends itself from invading transposons. (2011-12-22)

New candidate vaccine neutralizes all tested strains of malaria parasite
A new candidate malaria vaccine with the potential to neutralize all strains of the most deadly species of malaria parasite has been developed by a team led by scientists at the University of Oxford. The results of this new vaccine independently confirm the utility of a key discovery reported last month from scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who had identified this target within the parasite as a potential 'Achilles' heel' that could hold significant promise for vaccine development. (2011-12-20)

Malaria during pregnancy: New study assesses risks during first trimester
The largest ever study to assess the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy has shown that the disease significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, but that treating with antimalarial drugs is relatively safe and reduces this risk. (2011-12-12)

Trudeau Institute announces latest discovery in vaccine development
New research from the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Leadbetter at the Trudeau Institute may lead to a whole new class of vaccines. Dr. Leadbetter's lab has discovered new properties of a potential vaccine adjuvant that suggest it could be useful for enhancing protection against a number of different infections. (2011-12-12)

Only few seabird species contract avian malaria
Climate differences have less impact on the transmission of blood parasites than expected. (2011-12-12)

Premature babies harbor fewer, but more dangerous microbe types
One of the most comprehensive studies to date of the microbes that are found in extremely low-birthweight infants found that hard-to-treat Candida fungus is often present, as well as some harmful bacteria and parasites. (2011-12-08)

Novel drug wipes out deadliest malaria parasite through starvation
An antimalarial agent developed by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University proved effective at clearing infections caused by the malaria parasite most lethal to humans -- by literally starving the parasites to death. The study, published in the Nov. 11, 2011, issue of PLoS ONE, was led by senior author Vern Schramm, Ph.D., professor and Ruth Merns Chair in Biochemistry at Einstein. (2011-12-07)

Global warming changes balance between parasite and host in fish -- new study
Worms infecting fish grow four times faster at higher temperatures and manipulate the behavior of fish. (2011-12-04)

Chemical warfare of stealthy silverfish
A co-evolutionary arms race exists between social insects and their parasites. Army ants share their nests with several parasites such as beetles, snails and spiders. They also share their food with the kleptoparasitic silverfish. New research published in BioMed Central's open-access journal BMC Ecology shows that the silverfish manage to hide amongst the ants by covering themselves in the ant's chemical scent. (2011-11-30)

NIH-funded scientists identify potential malaria drug candidates
Researchers have discovered a group of chemical compounds that might one day be developed into drugs that can treat malaria infection in both the liver and the bloodstream. The study, which appears in the Nov. 18 issue of Science, was led by Elizabeth A. Winzeler, Ph.D., of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and was partially funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. (2011-11-17)

Scripps Research scientists identify new class of antimalarial compounds
A international team led by scientists from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) and the Scripps Research Institute has discovered a family of chemical compounds that could lead to a new generation of antimalarial drugs capable of not only alleviating symptoms but also preventing the deadly disease. (2011-11-17)

Contrasting patterns of malaria drug resistance found between humans and mosquitoes
A study detected contrasting patterns of drug resistance in malaria-causing parasites taken from both humans and mosquitoes. Parasites found in human blood samples showed a high prevalence for pyrimethamine-resistance, which was consistent with the class of drugs widely used to treat malaria. However, parasites taken from mosquitoes themselves had very low prevalence of pyrimethamine-resistance and a high prevalence of cycloguanil-resistant mutants indicating resistance to a newer class of antimalaria drug not widely used in Zambia. (2011-11-15)

New artemisinin-based treatment against malaria promising
For some time now, artemisinin, derived from a Chinese herb, has been the most powerful treatment available against malaria. But there are different formulations and derivatives, in different combinations and with dosing schemes. Scientists from the Institute of Tropical Medicine carried out a head-to-head comparison of four combination therapies in seven African countries. One combination appeared particularly promising for regions where the risk of re-infection is high. (2011-11-08)

Brain parasite directly alters brain chemistry
A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 percent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messenger in the brain. (2011-11-04)

Chromosome chaos in serial killer
Scientists found a deadly parasite with some of its chromosomes in duplicate, others in triplicate, while still others are present four or even five times. Moreover, the copy number varies between individuals. Such a bizarre occurrence has never before been found in nature, in any organism. As a rule, chromosomes should come in couples. The scientists, from the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, made the striking discovery while deciphering the genetic code of a series of Leishmania-parasites. (2011-10-28)

Different paths to drug resistance in Leishmania
This release describes two papers on Leishmania, a disfiguring and potentially fatal disease. The first study suggests that only a few genes are involved in causing the variety of symptoms associated with the different strains of this parasite. The researchers found that the DNA sequence of individual strains of each species populations is almost completely identical. Second, the parasite's evolutionary development and success may be driven by a genetic abnormality that would kill most organisms - having multiple copies of chromosomes. (2011-10-27)

Multiple malaria vaccine offers protection to people most at risk
A new malaria vaccine could be the first to tackle different forms of the disease and help those most vulnerable to infection, a study suggests. (2011-10-26)

Dormant malaria parasites in red blood cells may contribute to treatment failure
Researchers at the University of South Florida College of Public College Health have shown for the first time in a rodent model that the earliest form of malaria parasites can lay dormant in red blood cells and (2011-10-25)

Analyzing the sheep genome for parasite resistance
Genetic resistance to a parasitic nematode that infects sheep has been discovered by a team of scientists with the US Department of Agriculture and the International Livestock Research Institute. (2011-10-18)

A hitchhiker's guide to the Galápagos: co-evolution of Galápagos mockingbirds and their parasites
Along with the famous finches the Galápagos mockingbirds had a great influence on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Now, 176 years later, three of the four mockingbird species are among the rarest birds in the world. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology untangles the evolutionary relationships between Galápagos mockingbirds and provides information about their parasites to help ensure the birds survival. (2011-10-02)

Invasion of genomic parasites triggered modern mammalian pregnancy
Genetic parasites invaded the mammalian genome more than 100 million years ago and dramatically changed the way mammals reproduce -- transforming the uterus in the ancestors of humans and other mammals from the production of eggs to a nurturing home for developing young, a new Yale University study has found. (2011-09-25)

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