After 28 years of development, European regulators have given the green light to the world’s first malaria vaccine. The disease killed an estimated 584,000 people in 2013, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
A new laboratory technique enables biologists to "edit" the genetic makeup of entire species for purposes ranging from the benevolent to the nefarious, with the "potential to cause ecological mayhem," Antonio Regalado reports in MIT Technology Review.
With many higher regions warming due to climate change it's likely that mosquitoes carrying malaria will enlarge their territories.
"Militias in the Central African Republic are slitting children's throats, razing villages and throwing young men to the crocodiles" as malaria and AIDS wreak parallel horrors, The Guardian reported Friday.
Savvy Truthdig readers (as if there were any other kind) already know that the drug business is highly political here in the States, but the story of the Chinese malaria remedy artemisinin takes it up several notches on the international stage with a saga spanning several decades. Oh, and Chairman Mao is also involved.
A new vaccine trial is underway in Africa in an attempt to control malaria, a disease that not only kills 1 million people every year, but also makes 300 million seriously sick. If the trial results come back positive, a worldwide vaccine could be available as soon as 2012.
For only $5 a month, you too can undermine a developing country's health infrastructure. Since 1990, foreign funding for "development assistance" has quadrupled, offering medical resources to the poor but also luring local health care workers away from government hospitals and toward more lucrative private companies.