Tag Archives: African sleeping sickness

Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasite

Study suggests new way to help the immune system fight off sleeping sickness parasiteThere are currently few treatments for the disease, and those that exist have substantial side effects. A new study reveals a method, involving epigenetic mechanisms, that causes the African sleeping sickness parasite to change into a new state, potentially making it easier for the host immune system to eliminate it. More »

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Scientists develop a tool to study deadly parasite’s histone code

In a genome-wide study, scientists are the first to map the epigenetic changes that are likely to play a role in the molecular origami of transcription initiation in Trypanosoma brucei, the deadly single-celled parasite responsible for African sleeping sickness. More »

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Parasite breaks its own DNA to avoid detection

The parasite Trypanosoma brucei, which causes African sleeping sickness, is like a thief donning a disguise. Every time the host’s immune cells get close to destroying the parasite, it escapes detection by rearranging its DNA and changing its appearance. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University reveal how the parasite initiates its getaway — by cleaving both strands of its DNA. More »

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DNA breaks may help parasites elude the immune system

Changing their appearance helps many pathogens hide from detection. In the parasite Trypanosoma brucei, surface proteins recognized by the host’s immune system may be altered by the same process that repairs broken DNA. The key lies in T. brucei’s variant surface glycoproteins, which coat the parasite’s surface. More »

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“Outlaw” organism turns informant

In a critical scene in the film remake of the classic 1960s TV series “The Fugitive,” actor Harrison Ford sheds his coat and replaces it with another. This simple deception allows him to escape detection by the swarm of police officers trailing him. More »

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