Navigation Links
NTU researchers complete the world's first in-depth study of the malaria parasite genome
Date:2/5/2010

Groundbreaking research done at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) School of Biological Sciences (SBS) could lead to the development of more potent drugs or a vaccine for malaria, which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes and kills up to three million people each year.

Assistant Professor Zbynek Bozdech and his team of researchers, including graduate students and post-doctorals from SBS' Division of Genomics & Genetics, have scored a world first in successfully using transcriptional profiling to uncover hitherto unknown gene expression (activity) patterns in malaria.

The research team's breakthrough made the January 2010 edition of the top-ranked journal, Nature Biotechnology, which is a satellite publication of Nature, the world's leading peer-reviewed journal.

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.

This outcome in infectious disease pathology could potentially be the decade's big breakthrough as it has yielded critical information about how the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum the most deadly form of malaria responds to existing compounds with curative potential.

The genome or the complete DNA content of the Plasmodium falciparum has about 5,300 genes. Up till now, scientists have a good understanding of the gene functions for only about half of the more than 5,000 genes. Using transcriptional profiling, Asst Prof Zbynek 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 Asst Prof Bozdech of his research which was supported with S$900,000 in grants from Singapore's Ministry of Education and the National Medical Research Council. "We have predicted all the genes that could be used for a vaccine as well," he said.

Researchers at Germany's renowned institute for tropical diseases, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, have validated the research findings, which are expected to provide exciting new insights into parasite biology.

"The successful NTU-BNI joint project has led to the creation of the world's first database to predict the functions of more than 2,500 genes of the malaria parasite previously unknown. The database would be useful to scientists around the world who are developing new vaccines and drugs," says Dr. Tim Gilberger, Head, Malaria Research at BNI.

Preventing malaria infection is important because resistance to anti-malarial drugs is a growing problem worldwide. There is currently no vaccine for malaria, which is widespread in poorer countries where it remains a hindrance to economic development. Also of growing concern to scientists is the confirmation of the first signs of resistance to the only affordable treatment left in the global medicine cabinet for malaria: Artemisinin.

In successfully using transcriptional profiling to study the behavior of the malaria parasite, NTU's researchers have ventured into the unknown and paved the way for future breakthroughs in healthcare.

"The wealth of new information arising from our extensive four-year study is a major contribution to the worldwide effort to better understand and treat malaria," said Prof Peter Rainer Preiser, Deputy Director of NTU's BioSciences Research Centre and a member of the NTU research team.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hisham Hambari
mhisham@ntu.edu.sg
656-790-6447
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Yale researchers may have uncovered the mechanism by which progesterone prevents preterm birth
2. Secrets to superb malting barleys explored by ARS researchers
3. UF researchers: Ancient crocodile relative likely food source for Titanoboa
4. ARS researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars
5. National Jewish Health researchers discover how virulent bacteria
6. Epigenetics could help researchers determine any risks associated with low-dose radiation
7. University of the Basque Country researchers decode transcriptome for gray mullet
8. Researchers correct the record about behavior of important human protein tied to cancer
9. Bat researchers no longer flying blind on echolocation
10. Researchers trace effects of genetic defect in myotonic muscular dystrophy
11. Researchers identify a new gene involved in autophagy, the cellular recycling program
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual Global Healthcare Conference at ... 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ... accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  The webcast will be ... Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com . ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research Institute announced that its ... Schlesinger as the Institute,s new President and CEO. Dr. ... 31, 2017. He is currently the Chair of the Department ... for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio State University. ... President and CEO of Texas Biomed," said Dr. James ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... 2017  EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based ... " What You Should Know About Biometrics in the ... authenticity is a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography ... traditional authentication schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent ... offers an elegant solution to the problem of high-security ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 20, 2017 ... ... reduce infections in patients with catheters associated with peritoneal dialysis, announced today that ... light-based peritoneal dialysis catheter connection system in Peritoneal Dialysis International (PDI), the ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... Expanding Portfolio to Include ... weighing equipment with the goal of expanding the reach of its quality and ... Starter water analysis meters were introduced into the market in 2014. , The ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Japan ... estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2015 through 2022. ... data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. This ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... flying hobbyists, and DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), ... public safety officers to use drones effectively, and support educational outreach efforts. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: