On the Way to Cure Malaria

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Malaria is a parasitical disease caused by being bitten by a mosquito. Every year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide, with over one million dying from it, mostly in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Every thirty seconds, a child dies from the disease. It can be prevented, with the use of bednets, insecticides, and antimalarial drugs. People with malaria often have flu-like symptoms, fever, and chills. If it goes untreated, you can develop severe complications and die.

The parasite that causes malaria is called Plasmodium. When inside the body, the parasite multiplies in the liver and then infects red blood cells. The symptoms usually appear ten to fifteen days after being bitten by the mosquito. If it is not treated, malaria can soon become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. Malaria has become drug-resistant to lots of medicines in many parts of the world, similar to the drug-resistant tuberculosis that we discussed in class.

Recently, a team of researchers at Monash University made a major breakthrough in the international fight against malaria. They tackled the issue of drug-resistant malaria, a growing problem. "We had an idea as to how malaria could be starved and we have shown this, chemically, can be done," Dr McGowan, lead author of the research paper, said. "A single bite from an infected mosquito can transfer the malaria parasite into a human's blood stream. The malaria parasite must then break down blood proteins in order to obtain nutrients. Malaria carries out the first stages of digestion inside a specialised compartment called the digestive vacuole – this can be considered to be like a stomach. However, the enzyme we have studied (known as PfA-M1), which is essential for parasite viability, is located outside the digestive vacuole meaning that it is easier to target from a drug perspective." A drug candidate which hopes to provide a single-dose cure is now being developed.

Here is a song that I wrote about malaria:

Here is a video from Unicef about malaria in Africa and how it can be prevented:


Do you think that this new drug will cure malaria? What else can you find out about malaria?

Fascinating! I hope this method works. -erik

Student Expectations
How Will I Meet This Expectation?
How Did I Meet This Expectation?
Demonstrate ability to evaluate sources of biology information on the internet

  • I will evaluate my classmates' sources on the class credible sources wiki page.
  • I will only use websites that follow Ms. Baker's rules.
Demonstrate an ability to read and understand current biology news

  • I will write posts on topics that I am interested in that have been discussed in scientific news media.
  • I will collect other information about the topics from other websites to further research my posts.
  • I was interested in my malaria post when I found the article at sciencedaily.com.
  • I found other information about malaria for my post at cdc.gov and who.int.

Demonstrate proper use of online resources

  • I will put correct hyperlinks in my posts to credible sources checked by my peers on the class credible sources wiki page.
  • I will add a creative commons picture in my posts that is pertinent to my post.
  • I posted the websites I used on the credible sources page to make sure I could use them.
  • I added a creative commons picture to my malaria post of a mosquito, clearly related to malaria.
  • I used correct hyperlinks that worked on my malaria post.
Publish work that is available for peer-review

  • I will post my blog post on my wiki page to be reviewed by at least one student before submitting it to Ms. Baker.
  • I will post a link to my blog in the comment section of the original news article.
  • I posted my malaria post to my wiki page and had Erik review it before submitting it to Ms. Baker.
  • I advertised my blog on Facebook and MyYearbook.

Discuss published work with a practicing biologist in that particular field

  • I will email the scientists that conducted the original research to the news article and request that they review my post.
  • I will search for other people blogging about the same topic and comment on their post, and also request that they review my post.
  • I seperately emailed Professor James Whisstock and Dr. Sheena McGowan at Monash University, who led the research, with my blog post and asked them to review it.
  • Dr. Sheena McGowan commented on my malaria post.

Provide constructive peer-review to

  • I will write constructive comments to my classmates' posts and respond to comments made to my post.
  • I will edit at least one my classmates' posts on their wiki page.
  • I edited Hope's post about peanut allergies.
  • I edited Erik's post about mockingbirds.
  • I commented to Rachael's twins post.

Discuss in-class assignments

  • I will comment to posts that relate to in-class topics.
  • I will make my post pertinent to class topics by connecting it to things that have been discussed in class.

Apply creativity to work

  • I will put youtube videos relating to my blog post in my post.
  • I will add a relevant cartoon made on bitstrips.com to my post.
  • I posted a link to a youtube video in my malaria post relating to it.
  • I wrote a song about malaria and put up a video of me playing the piano and singing it for my post.

external image Golden_Retriever_7_Aug_2005.jpg
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Jennifer :]

I really liked the cockroach lab. It was interesting to work with the cockroaches. We should do more experiments with living things. We learned that the independent variable is what you change in your experiment, the control is what you keep constant, and the dependent variable is what you measure.
here's more info on hissing cockroaches.


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i love this song. it's called bottle it up by sara bareilles. music video

external image n1219622029_30167463_882.jpghomecoming '08.