Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have gained significant insights into the process whereby the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum develops drug resistance.
Michael Ferdig, a biologist at the University of Notre Dame, pint out that the development of Plasmodium falciparum in the blood is driven by a number of different genes expressed at different times and at different levels.
The researcher revealed that combining classical genetics with cutting-edge genomic methods enabled his team to illuminate previously unrecognised transcriptional complexity and variation in Plasmodium falciparum, and possibly master regulators within large copy number variants that contribute to the drug-resistant phenomena in malaria parasites.
He believes that uncovering the genetic "architecture" of numerous drug responses, and identifying key regulators that control such responses, may help map new approaches to conquering drug resistant malarial genes.
His findings have been reported in two research papers separately published in the journals PLoS Biology and PLoS Genetics.