News FocusMalaria

A Renewed Assault on an Old and Deadly Foe

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Science  20 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5491, pp. 428-430
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5491.428

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After languishing for decades in the scientific backwaters, malaria research is suddenly being swept into the mainstream. Money is beginning to pour in from international finance and aid organizations, giving researchers who have been doggedly pursuing an intractable foe with limited resources the means to follow new leads. But on the ground, the disease is unyielding, and the current weapons are losing their effectiveness.

In a series of related stories, Science explores the World Health Organization's crusade that aims to cut malaria mortality in half over the next 10 years, conditions on the front lines of clinical research in Africa, the challenges that have slowed development of a so-far elusive vaccine, renewed interest in a Chinese herbal remedy that could aid in the fight against drug-resistant malaria, progress in attacking the Plasmodium parasite through its genome, and the dream of building a malaria-proof mosquito.