Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chocolate and gum can cure malaria

The Gates Foundation has announced that they are giving grants of $100,000 each to 76 different ideas on how to solve the worlds problems in unconventional manners. One idea was to use chewing gum as a way to detect malaria bio-markers in the saliva. The idea came from a need to find a way to detect malaria without taking blood samples; saliva is easy to obtain, doesn't require a computer and has been used to detect other diseases in the past. Its still just an idea which the grant will provide the funding to research this possible idea. Another researcher has the idea to use chocolate as a combatant against malaria. The other forms of killing the malaria parasite have come from plant materials. Chocolate is promising they say because it binds to cholesterol, and the parasite feeds on the fat in the blood so if the fat is removed, the parasite starves. The researcher, Steven Marenz, does not want to focus on killing the parasite, because over time it has evolved to become immune to threats, instead he wants to kill some and then leave some in the body so that the person can develop a lifelong immunity. The Gates Foundation is supporting many other research ideas that are working to find alternate solutions to the world's problems.
-Sara Frodge