BioBit – Mitochondia, the little engines that power your cells

Apart from these functions, mitochondria also plays an important role in initiation of innate immune response through Grim 19 protein which interacts with Th19 cells in innate immune response

Science Translation

Mitochondria are little, bean shaped organelles inside you cells that are responsible for making the majority of the energy used by your cells.

Blausen_0644_Mitochondria Courtesy: Blausen.com staff

This often earns them the nickname “powerhouse of the cell”; however mitochondria perform many other important functions like:
  • Helping control cell growth
  • Helping cells and stem cells grow into the right type of cell (differentiation)
  • Helping cells to communicate with other parts of the cell or with other cells
  • Ensuring that when cells have to die, they do so in a clean, organized process called apoptosis

The amount of mitochondria within a cell can vary widely depending on that cells function. Typically, cells that need lots of energy, like liver cells, have lots of mitochondria while cells that need little energy, like red blood cells, have little or none.

Mitochondria have their own DNA that is separate from the DNA found in the nucleus…

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Breakthrough: Scientists in India make progress towards a viable Malaria vaccine

Interesting breakthrough

Biotechin.Asia

Anopheles mosquito. Pic credit: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/mosquitoes/                                                      Anopheles mosquito
Pic credit: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/mosquitoes/

Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and International Centre for Genetic engineering and biotechnology in New Delhi, India have discovered a novel molecule that could be a viable target for vaccines against malaria.

The quest for a malaria vaccine has been going on for decades now, with over 200 million people being affected annually, and  over 3.2 billion people at the risk of  malaria (WHO ). Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria.  In the light of these concerns, the new findings by scientists in India give hope for a malaria vaccine in the near future.

Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium which spreads to people through the…

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Researchers at NTU discover the reason for Malaria’s drug resistance

Can targeting at the liver stage help in this regard

Biotechin.Asia

Pic courtesy: Nanyang technological university Pic courtesy: Nanyang technological university

Researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, lead by Dr. Zbynek Bozdech have discovered the mechanism by which the malaria parasite is developing resistance to key front-line drugs used for its treatment, such as artemisinin.

Malaria is caused by a parasite, Plasmodium which is transmitted to humans via the bites of infected mosquitoes. They infect red blood cells causing symptoms such as fever and vomitting and if left untreated, could prove fatal. In 2013, an estimated 198 million cases of malaria were reported worldwide, with an estimated 584,000 deaths. One of the key intervention strategies to control malaria include artemisinin-based combination therapies and indoor residual spraying with insecticide to control the mosquitoes carrying the parasite.However, there is an emerging parasite resistance to artemisinin and if the mechanism by which the parasite is developing drug resistance is not understood, there could be a rise in global malaria…

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