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For most people, getting a mosquito bite is annoying. For others, it could be life-threatening. Mosquitoes are carriers of many diseases, including malaria. According to the World Health Organization, in 2019 there were 229 million cases of malaria worldwide and about 409,000 people died from this disease. This is why scientists are trying to make the antimalarial medicine artemisinin more available.

Artemisinin forms from dihydroartemisinic acid (DHAA). In this study, we collected data to see how heat and light affect how fast artemisinin forms from DHAA. We also looked at how the amount and chemical composition of DHAA affect the formation of artemisinin. Our data support the need for an optimal amount of ultraviolet light to produce artemisinin faster. We also discovered that the presence of hydrogen isotopes (deuteriums) on DHAA slows down the process of forming artemisinin. But increasing the amount of DHAA can significantly increase artemisinin production.

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About this article

Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
September 2021

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