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New chemical could potentially lead to a cure for neglected tropical diseases – News-Medical.Net

Scientists say they are a step closer to developing a drug to kill the trypanosome parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis, otherwise known as sleeping sickness, paving the way for a potential cure.

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Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Jul 13 2020
Scientists say they are a step closer to developing a drug to kill the trypanosome parasite that causes human African trypanosomiasis, otherwise known as sleeping sickness, paving the way for a potential cure.
The University of York researchers deciphered the mechanism by which the compound, known as AB1 works. AB1 was identified by researchers at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases and similar compounds have been developed as an anti-cancer drug by the company.
The researchers found that AB1 blocks the division of the parasite by interfering with the function of an essential enzyme in a structure called the kinetochore. The way in which the compound kills the parasite is different from the way it kills cancer cells, such that the breakthrough could potentially lead to a cure being found for the neglected tropical disease and others including Chagas disease.
Our goal is to identify unique biology in the parasite; that is the first step in the development of safe and effective new drugs to treat devastating neglected tropical diseases.
This academic and industrial partnership has allowed us to achieve that goal and to start on the road to developing a new drug.”
Professor Jeremy Mottram, team leader and Director of the York Biomedical Research Institute
The work is part of an ongoing research project which in 2016 identified another chemical compound that had the potential to kill three parasites that cause Leishmaniasis, African trypanosomiasis and Chagas disease. As a result, a drug is now in clinical trials as a treatment for visceral leishmaniasis. The teams at York and Novartis then began the search for a new chemical that could have better prospects of being developed into an effective treatment for African trypanosomes. This latest study is the result of that work.
Dr Manuel Saldivia, lead scientist on the project from the Department of Biology, and who is now a staff scientist at Novartis said: “Some of the most exciting discoveries in science came from using trypanosomes as a model organism. Their divergent biology is also an attractive open door for drug hunters. Because of its therapeutic potential, our work provides a chemical tool to shed light onto one of the most fascinating events during life: cell division.”
Human African Trypanosomiasis is a devastating neglected tropical disease caused by the Trypanosoma brucei parasite transmitted by infected tsetse flies. It threatens millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Chagas disease – or America trypanosomiasis – is caused by the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite. It can cause the heart and digestive system to become enlarged, which can be deadly. Chagas mostly affects people in Latin America, but has now spread to other continents.
Leishmaniasis is caused by infection with Leishmania parasites and is spread by the bite of sandflies and is found in the Americas, Africa and Asia.
The research is in collaboration with scientists from the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in California, the University of Glasgow and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. The research was funded by the Wellcome Trust.
University of York
Saldivia, M., et al. (2020) Targeting the trypanosome kinetochore with CLK1 protein kinase inhibitors. Nature Microbiology.doi.org/10.1038/s41564-020-0745-6.

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COVID-19 Live Updates: CDC concerned about virus effect on children – WABC-TV

The Centers for Disease Control has growing concerns about the coronavirus’ effect on children.

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NEW YORK (WABC) — New York reported its lowest one-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.65,812 tests were conducted Saturday, with only .7% testing positive.
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has growing concerns about the coronavirus’ effect on children.
The agency believes that about 600 children have come down with a rare illness that is linked to COVID-19. Experts say multi-system inflammatory syndrome attacks a child’s vital organ…

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China Closes in on the US in Science – Fair Observer

In China, which now ranks second only to the United States, scientific research is booming.

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China has for the first time taken the top position in the Nature Index as the biggest producer of high-quality research in chemistry. What will the future of China science look like?
Quantum physics may be science on an impossibly small scale, but it is one field where China is staking a massive leadership role. In February, researchers in Hefei forged a quantum connection between clusters of atoms 50 kilometers apart in an optical fiber, meaning that any changes in one groups quantum state in…

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Neck fleeces may be worse for coronavirus protection, study says – Business Insider – Business Insider

Unlike other masks, a neck fleece may actually create more respiratory droplets during speech, according to researchers at Duke University.

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New research authored by a group of scholars at Duke University compared 14 different types of masks to see which ones would be the most effective at reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
One of them, they found, effectively made things worse.
The researchers tested how effective each mask was at reducing the number of respiratory droplets transmitted during speech. Viral particles can be carried by these droplets, spreading the virus.
They tested 14 different types of masks, including surg…

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