Science  11 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6155, pp. 174

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  1. Malaria Vaccine Buzzes Forward

    The developer of a malaria vaccine that has moved further in clinical trials than any other plans to seek regulatory approval because of promising new results. The vaccine has demonstrated only a modest ability to protect children from malaria, but proponents say data from a study that involves more than 15,000 children in seven sub-Saharan African countries show that it creates durable immunity and could complement other efforts, such as bed nets, to thwart the disease."The results are encouraging and perhaps more positive than some were expecting," says Richard Feachem, a malaria specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved with the study.

    The new data, presented at a malaria meeting in South Africa this week, showed that 18 months after receiving three doses of the vaccine, bouts of malaria dropped by 46% in children between 5 months and 17 months of age. Feachem says he supports the decision by the vaccine's maker, GlaxoSmithKline, to file for regulatory approval in 2014."The sooner we start, the more lives will be saved," Feachem says.

  2. Earning a Good Salary? Thank Your Fourth-Grade Teacher


    Good teachers can help you earn more.


    Students who have even one above-average teacher between the fourth and eighth grades are more likely to attend college and eventually earn more money, notes a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Economist Gary Chamberlain of Harvard University analyzed data on more than a million students from 1988 through 2009 at more than 800 schools in a single large urban area in the United States (unidentified for privacy reasons). The data included classroom assignments, test scores in grades four through eight, students' later college attendance, and their earnings at age 28.

    Chamberlain developed a new mathematical model to compare different classrooms within the same school and different classes run by the same teacher. Based only on test results, Chamberlain found, an above-average teacher bumps up a student's chances of college attendance by less than a quarter of a percent. But taking into account other longer-term data—untested skills teachers impart that help students thrive—a high-quality teacher sends nearly 1% more students to college. Future work could try to answer why teachers have such a long-lasting impact by looking at other ways of gauging teacher quality, such as evaluations.