Nathan Myhrvold on Global Good’s progress fighting malaria with innovation: maybe not lasers but drug storage device, more

Our disease modeling software now informs eradication strategies around the world and our vaccine storage device will be commercialized next year after a recent round of successful field trials in Africa. I can’t say for certain whether the acclaimed photonic fence will ever zap mosquitoes in developing countries, but it’s turned out to be an invaluable research tool and, equally important, it’s brought a new level of attention and imagination to the fight against malaria. Likewise for our malaria diagnostics work, which hit some roadblocks but also unlocked promising new avenues to explore.

So, to the critics who say we’ll fail, I offer this: You’re absolutely right. But that’s part of being an inventor. What’s more important is that we learn, keep trying and make sure our successful inventions have a meaningful impact. At worst, we’ll get people thinking about important problems in new ways. At best, we’ll invent technology that transforms life for the people who need it most and, in the process, inspire more technology companies to work their magic for the developing world. Either way, I’d consider that a success.

via WATCH: Striking Down Malaria.. With A Laser? | Nathan Myhrvold.


Legitimate research with major hurdles: new malaria vaccine candidate

Hoffman says that he hopes to have a vaccine licensed within four years. The trial now needs to be repeated and extended in regions where malaria is rampant to test whether it provides protection against different strains of the parasite than that used in the vaccine, and to see how it performs in different age groups, including young children. The first trials will be carried out at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania.

Even if the vaccine is shown to be highly effective in the field, logistical difficulties might limit its applicability. In mass vaccination campaigns, hundreds of people are vaccinated within minutes, so vaccines are usually given orally or by injection into or just under the skin. Intravenous injection is more cumbersome. “It’s very unlikely to be deployable in infants or young children,” argues Adrian Hill, a malaria researcher at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, UK.

via Zapped malaria parasite raises vaccine hopes : Nature News & Comment.

Researchers on Dengue meeting in Havana – August 12 +

Havana – Renowned Cuban and foreign professors attend the XIII International Course on Dengue, expected to be held on the premises of the Institute of Tropical Medicine “Pedro Kourí” (IPK), in the Cuban capital from August 12 to 23.

via Cuba promotes international course on Dengue Fever – English

Australian Broadcasting details how chikungunya threatens Australia

Reported cases of chikungunya in Australia have jumped. There were 19 for the whole of last year, and 73 already in the first six months of this year.

The real figure is likely to be much higher, because few Australian GPs are aware chikungunya exists, and haven’t been testing for it.

There’s a good chance many Australians are suffering from this debilitating disease, not knowing what it is they have.

‘I’m sure that’s true; some aren’t being diagnosed,’ says Professor Lindsay Grayson, the director of infectious diseases at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital.

via The barbecue stopper: the chikungunya mutation threatening Australia – Background Briefing – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

BBC News – Honduras declares state of emergency over dengue fever

Honduras has declared a state of emergency after an outbreak of dengue fever which has killed 16 people so far this year.

More than 12,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, which causes high fever and joint pains….

Health Minister Salvador Pineda said more than half of Honduras’ municipalities have registered cases of the viral infection this year.

The worst outbreak of dengue in Honduras was in 2010, when 83 people died.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years.

via BBC News – Honduras declares state of emergency over dengue fever.

Get inspired by this MMV story about capacity building for malaria drug research in Cote d’Ivoire.

During his seven week mission, Xavier Ding worked with local staff at the Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique (CSRS) to set up an MMV-CSRS lab and…

via Capacity Building in Côte d’Ivoire | MMV.

Scientific American on malaria-mosquito control: no simple answer, every site needs its own selection of tools

But a decade of blanketing Africa with pyrethroids has fueled resistance to this front-line chemical weapon. Now pyrethroid-immune mosquitoes are spreading quickly throughout the continent.“At some level, to really control the mosquitoes,” Artress says, “they’re going to have to do more.”What that “more” is, however, is uncertain. Because of a lack of research, no new chemicals for killing malaria-infected mosquitoes have emerged in more than 40 years.

via Malaria Mosquitoes Gain Ground as Search for New Defenses Intensifies: Scientific American.