Two for One – A Physics Discovery Suggests a New Way to Treat Malaria

Friday, August 14, 2020 - 17:50 in Physics & Chemistry

Peter Vekilov is surprised and delighted. When he and his colleagues at the University of Houston set out to study advanced crystallization processes as part of ground-based research before an upcoming spaceflight experiment, they had hoped to learn more about how crystals form and degrade. They ended up evaluating how drugs for malaria interact with each other at the molecular level and finding new ways to combine malaria drugs that may be more effective. Their methods might also have industrial applications that could improve everything from drug manufacturing and chemical preparation to agriculture and the environment. The surface of a hematin crystal in a solution that mimics the environment of a malaria parasite digestive vacuole. To most of us, crystals mean jewelry, geodes, or science kits we were given as children.  Actually, the crystallization process is part of a huge number of phenomena that are central to our health and comfort. Crystals...

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