Duke scientists discover genetic material in blood cells that may affect malaria parasites | Science Codex

In a finding that has eluded scientists for years, Duke researchers discovered that genetic material in red blood cells may help alter parasite activity via a novel mechanism that alters parasite gene regulation.

“One of the most interesting findings in our study is that the human microRNA (very small units of genetic material) found in sickle red cells directly participate in the gene regulation of malaria parasites,” said Dr. Jen-Tsan Chi, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and associate professor in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. “These microRNAs enriched in the sickle red cells reduce the parasite’s ability to propagate, so that certain people stay more protected.”

via Duke scientists discover genetic material in blood cells that may affect malaria parasites | Science Codex.

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