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Scientists develop new malaria drug

Posted on Saturday, 16 February, 2013 | Comment icon 4 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Grzegorz Krucke

A new type of drug could save millions of lives by targetting the parasite's ability to expel salt.

The new treatment is a culmination of research by both a team of Australian scientists in Canberra and drug companies in the US and Singapore. Dr Natalie Spillman and Professor Kiaran Kirk had been studying the parasite that causes malaria in an effort to find out how it works. During their research they came across a small pump that the parasite uses to expel salt from its body. By using a new type of drug to block this pump the parasite would overload with salt and die, effectively defeating the disease.

"Like water in a boat," said Professor Kirk. "If you've got a leaky boat that's leaking lots of water you need a pump to push the water out of the boat. If you stop that pump working, the boat fills with water and the boat sinks. If you stop the salt pump working, the parasite fills with salt and the parasite sinks."

"A team of Australian scientists in Canberra are celebrating a discovery that could potentially save more than 1 million lives every year."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Whatsinausername on 16 February, 2013, 9:09
Now if somebody would cure my diabetes that would be cool.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Timonthy on 16 February, 2013, 11:06
Hopefully this comes to fruition!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Mag357 on 18 February, 2013, 1:39
Wasn't quinine a drug for malaria? If so then why is it in Tonic Water?
Comment icon #4 Posted by King Cobra 1408 on 21 February, 2013, 20:37
another new way to poison humanity and another way to scare people as well to get another unneccessary vaccine!!!we could already cure so many diseases by eating right that includes eating no meat and eating more fruits and veggies and organic foods and drinks!!!also there are many and unlimited natural cures and remedies already provided to us by mother nature!!!but the reason we don't hear about them is because it's not in the best interest of the medical industry and there's no profit in natural safe cures bvut also because no government or et... [More]

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