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  Topic: Science Break, Selected Shorts< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2008,10:52   

Since we're learning about cell structure, and specifically the structure of the plasma membrane, in Biology class right now, this caught my eye, from PLoS ONE:

Anti-Plasmodium Activity of Angiotensin II and Related Synthetic Peptides


Plasmodium species are the causative agents of malaria, the most devastating insect-borne parasite of human populations. Finding and developing new drugs for malaria treatment and prevention is the goal of much research. Angiotensins I and II (ang I and ang II) and six synthetic related peptides designated Vaniceres 1-6 (VC1-VC6) were assayed in vivo and in vitro for their effects on the development of the avian parasite, Plasmodium gallinaceum. Ang II and VC5 injected into the thoraces of the insects reduced mean intensities of infection in the mosquito salivary glands by 88% and 76%, respectively. Although the mechanism(s) of action is not completely understood, we have demonstrated that these peptides disrupt selectively the P.gallinaceum cell membrane. Additionally, incubation in vitro of sporozoites with VC5 reduced the infectivity of the parasites to their vertebrate host. VC5 has no observable agonist effects on vertebrates, and this makes it a promising drug for malaria prevention and chemotherapy.

(My emphasis)

Pretty cool, especially given the timing.

Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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