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The malaria parasite has a very complex life cycle that represents different stages of their invasion of several cell types within their host. The parasite invades these cells with the help of proteins from a multigene family called Py235.

Now, researchers in the United Kingdom and France led by P.R. Preiser show that different subsets of the Py235 family are expressed at each of the parasite's three major life stages.

This information could prove useful in tailoring potential malaria vaccines to particular parts of the parasite's life cycle.

Reference: Science 295, 342 (2002)

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