Volume 89 Issue 27 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 4, 2011

Iron Helps Trigger Artemisinin’s Activity

Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: malaria, artemisinin, hemoglobin, chemical biology

The antimalarial drug artemisinin needs a helping hand from iron to kill malaria parasites, a team of Australian and U.S. researchers suggests (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1104063108). Artemisinin, which comes from wormwood, is a crucial ingredient in combination malaria treatments. But scientists are still debating how it works. Some chemists think artemisinin’s endoperoxide ring must be activated before it can destroy parasites. However, it’s not clear whether that activation comes from . . .

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