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Scientists work to figure out growing resistance of a malaria drug

    This is Science Today. Malaria disproportionately affects populations in Third-World countries, but now with more global travel, there are cases of the mosquito-borne disease in the United States.

  Every year people come back from some country and they don't feel so good, have kind of flu-like symptoms, they go to the hospital, the hospital doesn't really know what's wrong with them and sends them to a tropical medicine expert and they'll be like, you have malaria.

Narrator:    Katherine Sorber, a graduate student at the University of California, San Francisco, is working on preventing the resistance of artemisinin, which is the current, first line drug treatment for malaria.

Sorber:    Artemisinin resistance is becoming more of a problem. Field researchers are seeing patients that don't recover from malaria as quickly as they used to after artemisinin treatment. And by trying to figure out how some parasites become resistant to this drug, we could possibly figure out how the drug actually works to begin with and ways that we can get around this resistance arising.

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