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Malaria Parasite Caught Red-Handed Invading Blood Cells

Australian scientists using new image and cell technologies have for the first time caught malaria parasites in the act of invading red blood cells. The researchers, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), achieved this long-held aim using a combination of electron, light and super resolution microscopy, a technology platform new to Australia.

The detailed look at what occurs as the parasite burrows through the walls of red blood cells provides new insights into the molecular and cellular events that drive cell invasion and may pave the way for developing new treatments for malaria. Institute researchers Dr Jake Baum, Mr David Riglar, Dr Dave Richard and colleagues from the institute's Infection and Immunity division led the research with colleagues from the i3 institute at UTS.

Dr Baum said the real breakthrough for the research team had been the ability to capture high-resolution images of the parasite at each and every stage of invasion, and to do so reliably and repeatedly. Their findings are published in today's issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe.
 
 

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