Last week the Nobel Prize in medicine was shared between three scientists that revolutionised the control of parasitic diseases, notably onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, and ...malaria. It was the Chinese scientist Youyou Tu that received the prize for her work on artemisinin. She thus became the fourth (or fifth?) Nobel Prize winner with a focus on malaria. Who were the others?
The second Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine went to Sir Ronald Ross, for his discovery of the role of mosquitoes in the transmission of malaria. That was back in 1902. Not long afterwards it was Alphonse Laveran, in 1907, who received the prize for his discovery of the malaria parasite and demonstration that it was not a bacterium but a parasitic protozoan that is causing the disease. Then it took several decades for another winner to come forward, Paul Muller, in 1948, for his discovery of the world's most controversial insecticide, DDT. It can be argued, however, that the prize in 1927, for Julius Wagner-Jauregg, was also directly related to malaria, since he discovered that syphilis can be cured with malaria. So it can be debated if this year's Nobel Prize is the 4th or the 5th for malaria...
Interestingly, the recent paper by Bhatt et al. in Nature attributed 68% of all the gains over the last 15 years to LLINs, 22% to ACTs, and 10% to IRS. One could therefore make a case that the discovery of the LLIN would equally qualify for a Nobel Prize...what do you think?
MalariaWorld congratulates Dr. Youyou Tu with this great award, especially so since this Nobel Prize is putting global attention to the cause of parasitic diseases such as malaria.
This week also an announcement from MESA, that the Armed Forces Pesticide Board has joined the MESA track database. Read more here.
Enjoy this week's MalariaWorld - the MW team
and we look forward to receiving your manuscripts!
MalariaWorld has been nominated for a Social Media Award 2015! It will be greatly appreciated if you endorse us. Read more about the awards here.
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It is with profound sadness that we took notice today of the untimely death of Dr. Alan Magill, who headed the malaria programme at the Gates Foundation in Seattle. Below we copy the press release from the Gates Foundation.
I met Alan for the first time in Durban, South Africa, during the MIM meeting in 2013. This was not long after he had taken up his new position at the Gates Foundation. This was the man that everyone out of the 1500+ participants would like to talk to, and it was a great privilege that he took some time to sit down and chat with me. It struck me immediately how pleasant Alan was to interact with. Down-to-earth, direct, and above all with passion did he speak of his mission to free the world of malaria. And I vivdly remember his following words: 'Being with the Foundation now gives me the real opportunity to make a difference in this world'.
The second time we met was when I visited the Foundation in January this year. As ever, Alan was pleasant and at the same time razor sharp. He needed two words to understand your full story. Over lunch his passion got hold of him when he stood up and expressed his frustration that we were all going too slow - that we needed to get new technology to the field quicker. Every live mattered, and waiting would only lead to unnecessary waste of lives. So true.
The world has lost a great malariologist. It is now upon us to follow in his footsteps and end malaria.
VectorWorks is pleased to announce the release of a new report, Landscape of New Vector Control Products written by Michael MacDonald. The report covers the spectrum of new vector control products, highlighting descriptions of how each of the tools work; general timelines for their implementation; and limitations of each approach. While these tools are unlikely to be as widely scalable as IRS and ITNs, they are promising components of an Integrated Vector Management strategy.
The report is attached below.
Once a scientific paper is published online and you can download a pdf of it, this addictive and magnificent feeling gets on to you. This is the fruit of all the hard work: first to get the funding to undertake the research, then the hard work to actually perform all the research, then the hard work to write up the manuscript, then the submission, the reviews, the rebuttal, and eventually acceptance followed by proof reading and then publication. The route from thinking up research to publishing about it is long, tedious, and really hard work. But why don't we ever talk about this route? Why do we publish our papers but don't tell our peers more about how we got there? The fun parts, the sweat and tears, or even the fights? This week we published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS; attached below). And here's the story you don't know when you read the paper...
We have shown a talk by Margaret Heffernan before on the MalariaWorld platform. And again, in a talk she gave in May this year at TEDWomen 2015, she hits the nail on the head, also for us malariologists. That's why we show her talk here...
Imagine your research lab, or your University department, think about your professor and colleagues and the way you work with them. Think about the pressures and frictions that are there when it gets to doing research, to publishing (authorships!), and once you have done that, watch this video. We hope you will feel inspired afterwards!
There is great news for the MalariaWorld community, and particularly for the team that has worked for the last six years to provide you all, every week of the year, with the latest information on malaria. Somebody (thank you, whoever you are) nominated one of the MalariaWorld Founders (me) for the 2015 Social Media Awards 'Malaria Heroes'. I do not consider this as a personal nomination, but as a nomination for the entire MalariaWorld team. Many of our >8600 members know me, but there are people behind the scene that make this work what it is. We have Patrick Sampao, Kabogo Ndegwa, and Stella Chege in the Nairobi office of MalariaWorld. They perform all the searches and collate it in such way that you receive it nicely on Friday morning when you open your email. They are our 'Silent Malaria Heroes', and have been so for six full years already. Then there are volunteers working for the Dutch Malaria Foundation that manage subscriptions (Monika Bongers) and extend the reach of our communication through social media outlets. With a Facebook account and three Twitter accounts, we're busy. Busy to get that vital piece of information out to you. And now we have been nominated...
Last Friday the Washington Post published an article about fake peer review and how it has affected the UK publisher BioMed Central. At least 43 papers have been retracted so far and we have not found this list to see if it included papers published in the Malaria Journal or Parasites & Vectors. How is it possible that such scandals emerge, one could wonder...