The Nobel Science Challenge Of Malaria

1510 WordsDec 5, 20157 Pages
CUNY Nobel Science Challenge Around 300-600 million people suffer from malaria each year, and over one million people die from this disease every year, mostly children younger than five. This disease is endemic to over 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the South Pacific, almost 40% of the world population. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transferred by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The most deadly form of malaria is known as Plasmodium falciparum because almost all deaths from malaria are caused by this specific one. In addition to being the deadliest form of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum destroys red blood cells along with causing complications with the kidneys, lungs, and brain. In more serious cases, it can cause permanent neurological effects, and even death. As the Nobel Assembly said at the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, “Diseases caused by parasites have plagued humankind for a millennia and constitute a major global health problem. In particular, parasitic diseases affect the world’s poorest populations and represent a huge barrier to improving human health and wellbeing”. Youyou Tu, one of the winners of the prize, discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from malaria by killing the malaria parasites an early stage of their development. The story on the creation of the drug Artemisinin, is an interesting one.
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