Wed, Feb 22, 2017 | updated 09:17 PM IST

Protein that offers cure for Malaria

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 11:09 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 18 (ANI): In a recent research scientists have developed a protein that completely cures malaria and protects the patient against re-infection.

The breakthrough could lead to a new and more effective way of treating the deadly disease in future.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the disease killed an estimated 438,000 people in 2015. Most deaths are in young children and unborn babies. It also estimates that nearly half of the world's population is at risk of the disease.

Beginning with typical flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, headache and nausea, the mosquito borne disease can lead to a lethal brain infection and coma.

The team discovered that there is a protein on the surface of a particular immune cell that plays a crucial role in fighting malaria infection.

Wykes , the head of the Molecular Immunology laboratory at QIMR Berghofer said, "Within the immune system, there are dendritic cells, which are the generals of the immune army, and there are T cells, which are the soldiers. The dendritic cells tell the T cells when to attack an infection and when to put down their weapons."

"The dendritic cells have proteins on their surface, which they use to send these orders to the T cells. It's long been known that the job of one of these proteins is to tell the T cells when to switch off and stop fighting. However, contrary to what was previously understood, we found that another protein - called PD-L2 - can override these instructions by telling the T cells to switch on and keep fighting," he continued.

"We found that when humans and mice are infected with severe malaria, levels of PD-L2 decrease and so the T cells aren't being told to keep fighting the parasites.We don't know how malaria manages to block the production of PD-L2. But once we knew how important this protein was for fighting the disease, we developed a synthetic version of it in the laboratory," Wykes added.

The researchers gave three doses of the protein to mice that had been infected with a lethal dose of malaria.

"All of these mice were cured of the malaria," Wykes claimed.

"About five months later, we re-infected the same mice with malaria parasites, but this time we didn't give them any more of the synthetic protein. All of the mice were completely protected and didn't become infected."

He said the findings could form the basis for new ways to treat malaria in future, "This would be a completely new way of treating malaria by stimulating a person's own immune system to destroy the parasites."

The research was funded by Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. (ANI)

Beware! Zika can be a reason for miscarriage

Updated: Feb 22, 2017 14:18 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 22 (ANI): Beware to-be mothers! According to a recent study, Zika virus could lead to a greater risk of miscarriage in the early stage of pregnancy.

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Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 22 (ANI): Women with a rare type of epithelial ovarian or peritoneum cancer, can now take sigh of relief.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 22 (ANI): Now don't blame those chips and chocolates for you childs extra pounds, as a study says around 35-40 percent of a child's is inherited from their parents.

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Drinking too much may age arteries over time!

Updated: Feb 22, 2017 06:03 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 22 (ANI): Excessive boozing over the years might age arteries prematurely, especially in men, putting them at an increased risk for heart disease.

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Chronic knee pain may be treated online

Updated: Feb 21, 2017 06:41 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 21 (ANI): A study has found out that an online intervention, combining home exercise and pain-coping skills training, provided substantial clinical benefits for patients suffering from chronic knee pain.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 21 (ANI): Only exercise is not enough to maintain that figure, which is an after effect of much toil and sweat!

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New Delhi [India], Feb. 20 (ANI): With rising life expectancy, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and surge in incidence of obesity, India is also witnessing a resultant rise in orthopedic problems as a natural corollary.

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Children inherit obesity from parents: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 14:54 IST

Washington D.C. (USA), Feb. 20 (ANI): A study reveals that 35-40 percent of a child's 'Body Mass Index' - how fat or thin they are - is inherited from their parents.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Good news for all those lazy-headed not-really-a-cleanliness-freak out there! Scientists have found out that the obsession with hygiene could even be turning some beneficial bacteria found in the human gut into "endangered species".

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New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): In order to persuade someone to quit smoking, it is the 'emotions' that need to be triggered rather than inciting fear in an individual.

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No difference between good or bad diet: Study

Updated: Feb 20, 2017 05:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 20. (ANI): Ever faced a choice between Brown and white bread?

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 19 (ANI): To boost sustainability of livestock production, a study finds that gene editing - one of the newest and most promising tools of biotechnology - enables animal breeders to make beneficial genetic changes, without bringing along unwanted genetic changes.

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People with ADHD may have smaller brain volume

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 07:09 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): In a latest study it has been found out that people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have smaller brain volume than those without the disorder.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): What if we tell you that scientists can actually slow down the process of ageing. Sounds too good to be true right?

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Lefty or righty? Well it was decided when you were still in your mum's womb!

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Dads-to be face greater risk of depression

Updated: Feb 19, 2017 06:53 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Expecting a baby is always a joyous experience for both the mother and the father, however a latest study has found out that fathers-to-be can be at risk of depression symptoms if they feel stressed or are in poor health.

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): Do you find it difficult hearing out people at a noisy bar or a restaurant even though you have passed the hearing test with flying colors? Well, you might be secretly deaf!

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New Delhi [India], Feb 19. (ANI): What if we told you that rice has the potential of carrying arsenic and is more than hazardous to feed it to infants!

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Now you can save your kid from surgery, as a study shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 18 (ANI): Attention new mommies, sing lullabies to your new born to feel more connected to your babies, suggests a study.

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