Weekly digest: Eliminating malaria, antibiotic pollution, and fighting TB in the US and India

22 Feb 2013
Authors:
Suraj Pant

A  roundup of news on drug resistance and other topics in global health.

In a new article published in the journal Science, researchers, including CDDEP director Ramanan Laxminarayan and senior fellow David Smith, suggest that it may be more beneficial for countries to eliminate malaria than control it indefinitely, and that global coordination may not be necessary to eradicate the disease. [CDDEP]

An article in the Denver Post on the potential spread of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea to the US quotes Ramanan Laxminarayan on the already present danger of untreatable UTIs. [Denver Post]

In a study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, researchers show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum uses a protein on its surface as a molecular pump to push out sodium ions, and that a newly discovered antimalarial drug kills the parasite by blocking the salt pump. Professor Kiaran Kirk, one of the researchers of the study, explains the research to Deutsche Welle in this interview.  [NBC News via Reuters, Deutsche Welle]

Antibiotics released into the environment via human waste streams will contribute to increases in the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and such antibiotic pollution will have profound evolutionary and ecological consequences, according to a study published in Frontiers of Microbiology. [Medical Xpress]

Steven Brill examines why medical costs in the US are high and recommends solutions to make the healthcare system cheaper and more efficient, in a feature article for Time magazine. [Time]

MIT Technology Review explores how the Beijing Genomics Institute in China has pioneered a research-cum-business model to decode human genomes in bulk and is bringing down the cost of sequencing a complete genome. [MIT Technology Review

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have sent scientists to investigate and control an outbreak of tuberculosis in Los Angeles. [LA Times]

A paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that juvenile malaria parasites have a higher degree of antibiotic resistance and are up to 100 times less sensitive to artemisinin than mature parasites. [Eureka Alert]

A study carried out in rural Bangladesh and published in Malaria Journal concludes that cellphones have proved to be an efficient and effective method for rapid diagnosis and treatment of malaria in the region. [Sci Dev]

Using a 3-D printer and living cells, Cornell University researchers have created artificial ears fit for replacement. [Huffington Post]

The Wall Street Journal chronicles India s difficulty in fighting drug-resistant TB. [WSJ]

 

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