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George Cross, the Head of the Molecular Parasitology Department at the Rockefeller University, states that these DNA sequences, released recently, are so very different from those of human beings, that it would be a matter of ease to discover suitable drugs to fight them with, and this is indeed excellent good news for the thousands of sufferers of such diseases, all over the world. An important fact to remember is that the tritryps need nutrients from their hosts, without which they cannot survive, being parasites. This means that they cannot manufacture sialic acid, which is the sugar that these parasites need in order to develop the complex surface molecules that they make so that they can escape the human immune response. (Parsing Parasites: genomes of three tropical parasites are sequenced) This bit of information was made evident only because the scientists were able to discover the DNA sequencing of these parasites, and in addition, it will be based on this information that scientists will be able to, in the future, devise suitable dugs which would be able to effectively block pathways such as the sialic acid uptake, and then kill the parasites.
If I were an impoverished citizen of the world, living in extremely dire circumstances, then I would most definitely like to see an end to the diseases that are rampant among my people, and the fact that research is being conducted that would effectively find a treatment and a cure for the deadly diseases that threaten my very existence gives me a great surge of hope, and I feel that pharmaceutical companies must take more interest in developing drugs that would fight deadly parasitic diseases. Although it is a fact that work has indeed been started in this regard and scientists have indeed been able to make a great breakthrough in being able to decipher the DNA sequencing of certain deadly parasites, it must be said that there is a lot of work yet to be done, before therapies and novel treatments can be developed which would be of use to the common man who may become afflicted with such killer diseases at any point of his life.
For example, if a scientist were to know exactly where he must stick a molecular wrench in the infection machinery of the tritryps, then he must initially deduce the metabolic pathways of the genomes involved, and then move on to deciphering what proteins are actually made by them, what they do, and how they interact with each other. Not only would a wide spectrum of drugs be needed for this so that the various strains do not merge with each other, but so would there be a need to deduce the various metabolic pathways of the three parasites. This is indeed a great challenge, and it is assumed that not all scientists would actually make the efforts and make the time to follow such research procedures, and therefore, the big pharmaceutical companies would also not be interested in pursuing tritryp therapies.
To add to the problems, in almost all cases, the victims that get affected by the tritryps are generally so very impoverished that they would never be able to afford any expensive drugs developed for the purpose, and this would also mean that the drug companies would not make any money out of it. George Cross states that specialized research institutes must be created for this very purpose, where research would be carried out for humanitarian purposes, so that the poor people of the world would also have a good chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, free of disease, or at the very least, hope for a cure for their diseases. (Parsing Parasites: genomes of three tropical parasites are sequenced)
Common Genetics Key to fighting deadly parasites: New insights into illnesses that threaten millions worldwide. Retrieved at http://www.hon.ch/News/HSN/526826.html. Accessed 10 October, 2005
Drayna, Dennis. Founder Mutations. Scientific American. October, 2005. Retrieved at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=0005CD6F-CD1B-1331-841D83414B7FFE9FAccessed 10 October, 2005
Mossman, Kaspar. Parsing Parasites: genomes of three tropical parasites are sequenced.
Scientific American. October, 2005. Article provided by client.[continue]
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