Volume 89 Issue 46 | p. 8 | News of The Week
Issue Date: November 14, 2011

How Sickle Cell Mutation Mutes Malaria

Imaging: Closeup of cellular machinery reveals that the genetic anomaly prevents parasite from building its transport network
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Analytical SCENE
Keywords: malaria, electron microscopy, structural biology, hemoglobin, sickle cell anemia

The mutation that causes sickle cell anemia also prevents severe malaria, and researchers may have finally figured out why: The genetic tweak stymies the malaria parasite’s attempt to hijack transport machinery inside red blood cells (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1213775). The discovery could lead to new targets for malaria treatments.

In the 1940s, doctors noticed that patients with sickle cell anemia were more likely to survive a bout with malaria, but they were unable to find . . .

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