genomics lite: sequencing malaria in focus

Exploring single cell sequencing in the malaria parasite

This session will explore the malaria parasite plasmodium falciparum and how single cell sequencing allows scientists to better understand its life cycle, transmission pathology, and evolution. We’ll also discuss the career journey of our guest speaker.

This session will explore the malaria parasite plasmodium falciparum and how single cell sequencing allows scientists to better understand its life cycle, transmission pathology, and evolution. We’ll also discuss the career journey of our guest speaker. 

Our guest speaker for this session is Juliana Cuidini. Juliana is a PhD student at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, in the Evolutionary Genetics group.

Session Recording:

Genomics Lite in Focus is a programme of live webinars to inspire and engage upper secondary school students, teachers and other educational groups. Each talk explores a different field in biology in focus, highlighting how genomics research contributes to understanding the topic.

Each 75 minute session includes a 30 minute talk on the topic, a 15 minute talk about the speakers career journey, and time for Q&A with the audience. Polls and audience questions are used throughout to encourage interaction between the audience and the speaker.

Learn more about how malaria and single cell sequencing

These resources are designed to support and further attendees' understanding of malaria and single cell sequencing, and are aimed at students in upper secondary years (e.g. year 10 and higher).

A downloadable learning resources PDF is available at the bottom of this page.

What is Malaria?

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite, and transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito.
  • Once in the human body, malaria is able to evade the immune system through a unique mechanism. Through constantly changing a key membrane protein - PfEMP1 - the immune system can’t keep up and fails to identify malaria in the bloodstream.
  • Malaria can be treated if detected and tackled earlier, but there is a growing problem of drug resistance.
  • Managing Malaria poses healthcare, financial and policy questions. In this Malaria Challenge activity, students come up with the best strategy to tackle Malaria in different communities.

What is Single Cell Sequencing?

  • Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA seq) is a type of next generation sequencing that helps scientists isolate and understand the genome of individual cells, allowing them to study differences between individual cells.
  • RNA sequencing provides information about which genes are being expressed in a particular cell, providing an insight into what genes are being differently expressed in cell types.
  • This video highlights the different steps involved in doing scRNA Sequencing in the lab.