Monday, November 21, 2016
Proteomic analysis of patients with cerebral and uncomplicated malaria
Malaria sucks. I'm reading this book now:
...and it put how bad malaria sucks into perspective. One expert she references throws out a figure that more than half the human beings who have ever lived may have died...of malaria... If you are into a super depressing read on how a gross parasite has shaped our history, mostly by killing us by the millions and billions, I couldn't come up with a better suggestion.
For a more uplifting tail, I suggest this nice recent paper from Bertin et al.,. In this work, these authors take a proteomic run at some patient sera with non-complicated (bad) and cerebral (really really really bad) Plasmodium falciparum (the species that generally kills you the first go 'round) malaria. They used label free quan and an Orbitrap Velos and some clever bioinformatic tricks (compound databases with lots of the Var sequences) and sweet downstream statistics to try and find some differences.
While there are tons of challenges with this monster of a disease, like crappy databases and poor annotation and mutations all over the place, they are still able to find some really interesting conclusions. Several of the differentially regulated proteins they find appear linked and may even work together in functional complexes.