Malaria parasite goes bananas before sex: new study | Breaking News | EarthSkyPosted: February 14, 2012
The work was conducted by an Australian research team led by Dr Matthew Dixon and PhD student Megan Dearnley from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, and is published in the Journal of Cell Science today.
Dr Dixon said the new study solves a 130-year old mystery, revealing how the most deadly of human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum performs its shape-shifting.
“In 1880 the banana or crescent shape of the malaria parasite was first seen in the blood of a patient. Using a 3D microscope technique, we reveal that malaria uses a scaffold of special proteins to form a banana shape before sexual reproduction,” said Dr Dixon.