• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

Diane Toomey reports on new research that offers some hope of finally being able to thwart the bug that causes the lethal African Sleeping Sickness.


TOOMEY: When someone becomes infected with African sleeping sickness, they never recover. It may take years but the paralysis and coma resulting from the tsetse fly's bite eventually lead to death. Until recently, scientists have had no clue how to treat the disease. That's because the parasite that causes the illness coats itself with as many as 1,000 different proteins, allowing it to constantly change and evade the immune system. Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have discovered how the parasite makes the fatty acids that bind those proteins. So they tested a chemical that would prevent the production of fatty acids, and it worked in a test tube, killing the parasite. This drug is too strong for use in humans right now, but researchers predict this new development could lead to a cure for African sleeping sickness. And that's this week's Living on Earth health update. I'm Diane Toomey.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth