Photo: Courtesy of the World Health Organization, P. Virot
Sequencing a 23-megabase genome hardly sounds like a triumph--that's just twice the size of an average yeast genome and one-hundredth of the human genome. Yet, there was cause for celebration after a high-profile team of collaborators closed all but 93 gaps in the sequence of Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly and endemic human malarial parasite. Besides infecting nearly 500 million people and killing an estimated 2 million annually, this single-celled terror presented a formidable sequencing task: Its genome's dense A-T content made it difficult to clone.
Now, with the genome in hand,1 the sequences for its mosquito2 and human hosts available, a...
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?