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Know thine enemy

The malaria parasite's genetic code — published in 2002 — has created a whole new foundation for basic research into malaria. This article, part of a special supplement published in the 19 August 2004 issue of Nature, describes the different technologies being used to study interactions between the malaria parasite and its human and mosquito hosts. These include using 'gene chips' to analyse which parasite genes are switched on at any particular stage in its life cycle, and the science of 'proteomics', which searches malaria proteins for new drugs and vaccine targets. The article is aimed at readers with some scientific background.