UoH team decodes link for curbing malaria

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A team of researchers from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have decoded a link for finding a potential cure for malaria. The research team, led by Professor Mrinal Bhattacharya, found a correlation between the fever that is induced by malaria and the antigenic variation of malarial parasites. This novel discovery could be the next big step in finding a cure for malaria. 

The protein from the malarial parasite which is under study, known as PfEMP1, is the most predominant molecular determinant of antigenic variation in this parasite. There could be up to 90 variants of this protein and only one protein is expressed at a given time, and this expression is completely random. 

hese proteins do not live through multiple generations as the malaria parasites keep changing from one protein form to the other, hence the human host fails to mount a robust antibody response against these variant proteins.

The present study uncovered how the parasites manipulate the expression of malarial proteins on the surface of the infected red blood cells in response to fever, which is the most common manifestation of the disease.  The findings suggest that targeting the parasitic proteins involved in the heat-shock response during fever is likely to restrict the antigenic variation in the parasites, and thereby prevent malaria.  

New School, academic programmes for university
The University of Hyderabad will create a new School by conferring upon the existing Department of Communication the status of School of Communication and Media Studies. The decision for the constitution of its 13th School of studies was made on Friday night at the 88th Academic Council meeting of the University. 

The Academic Council approved the introduction of new programmes, including a new multi-disciplinary MTech in Modeling and Simulation to be offered by the Centre for Modeling, Simulation and Design, an MPA programme in Music, the reintroduction of the five-year Integrated MA in Urdu, and a Certificate Course in Publishing (to be offered in collaboration with Cambridge University Press) by the Department of English, a PG Diploma in Community Eye Health, and a Certificate Course in Ophthalmic Dispensing Optics.The University has also accorded in-principle approval for joint PhD programmes with top-ranking foreign universities.

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