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The importance of studying resistance of anti-malaria drugs

   This is Science Today. Amid concerns that parasites are growing resistant to artemisinin, which is the first line drug treatment for malaria, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, including graduate student Katherine Sorber, are working to figure out the mode of resistance and tweaking the chemical structure of the drug.

Sorber:    Studying malaria and specifically artemisinin resistance is important to me because malaria has actually had a resurgence since about the 1950s because these treatments keep being rolled out in to the field and then failing, you know, 20 or 30 years later. And there's nothing lined up to replace them. Especially nothing that people who actually get malaria can afford to buy and treat themselves with. So, it's really important to understand the parasite better and to understand how it is fighting back against us basically, so that we can figure out a permanent solution rather than sort of rolling out drug after drug that then continues to fail in the field.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.