Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells

Date:
June 18, 2010
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Fresh discoveries about the parasite that causes sleeping sickness could lead to new avenues of research into treatments for the disease.

Fresh discoveries about the parasite that causes sleeping sickness could lead to new avenues of research into treatments for the disease.

Scientists studying the parasite -- which is spread by the tsetse fly and infects the blood of people and animals -- have shed light on how it is able to survive when taken up by a feeding fly.

Sleeping sickness is a potentially fatal condition which affects up to 70,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa, and millions more are at risk from the disease.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that when the parasite is swallowed by a fly, a reaction is triggered in a particular part of the parasites' cells. This causes a change in the activity of enzymes stored there, allowing the parasite to rapidly adapt its body to survive in the fly's gut.

The part of the parasite cell associated with this response has a corresponding part in human cells. Because of this, researchers say their study could also point towards greater understanding of human genetic disorders linked to cell defects. These include Zellweger syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes infant death.

The study, published in the journal Genes and Development, was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the BBSRC.

Professor Keith Matthews, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the research, said: "Our results also give valuable insight into how our own cells evolved and how they function, which is helpful for understanding some inherited diseases. These findings also provide hope for a target to stop the spread of these deadly parasites."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Edinburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614171901.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2010, June 18). Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614171901.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614171901.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins