December 29, 2005
Malaria infects up to 5 million Ethiopians every year, most of them children under five, according to UNICEF [PDF]. Here is how it is getting away with it.
Scientists lift malaria's cloak of invisibility - Howard Hughes Medical Institute Dec 28
The world's deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, sneaks past the human immune system with the help of a wardrobe of invisibility cloaks. If a person's immune cells learn to recognize one of the parasite's many camouflage proteins, the surviving invaders can swap disguises and slip away again to cause more damage.
It is currently boom time for malaria researchers like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute - thanks to the billions of dollars flowing into the field from Bill Gates, the Global Fund and co.
At the moment, the scientists seem to be spending a lot of that money on calling malaria names - finding news ways to describe just how sneaky it is. Above, we have malaria as the master of disguise. A few days ago, boffins from India and France were calling it a blood cell-busting sneak thief. This time last year, malaria was the interior designer from hell. More recently, we have discovered its ability to beat the strongest anti-malaria drug on the market, its undermining of Africans' natural defences against infection and its new alliance with HIV/Aids.
Posted by aheavens at December 29, 2005 7:33 AM