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The malaria parasite, which hitches rides in mosquitoes, is notorious for mutating to become resistant to drug treatments, leading to some 780,000 deaths each year. But by analyzing the DNA of 57 parasites from three continents, scientists have isolated several genes that play a role in triggering these mutations. Targeting these genes could lead to the development of better drugs and allow infectious-disease experts to track when and where around the world the malaria parasite may be starting to evade the drugs we use against it.
Sources: Pediatrics and Environmental Health Perspectives; Neurology; PLoS Genetics; General Dentistry