Life-Changing but Not World-Changing

This Reuters piece on a milestone in malaria research — not an excited  shriek of earth-shaking revelation, but the somber celebration of a respectable bit of progress — strikes just the right note in reporting science.

(Oh, yeah … maybe I should tell you the Weekly World News pic is here to show the OTHER type of reporting.)

Malaria scientist celebrates success after 24 years

“There were many ups and downs, and moments over the years when we thought ‘Can we do it? Should we continue? Or is it really just too tough?,” he told Reuters, as data showing the success of his RTS,S vaccine were unveiled at an international conference on malaria.

“But today I feel fabulous. This is a dream of any scientist — to see your life’s work actually translated into a medicine … that can have this great impact on peoples’ lives. How lucky am I?”

Final stage clinical trial data on RTS,S, also known as Mosquirix, showed it halved the risk of African children getting malaria, making it likely to become the world’s first successful vaccine against the deadly disease.

The piece ends with an appropriate counterpoint to the too-fantastic tabloid stories we so often see.

He was also careful to underline that this was a first step, as well as a world first. GSK, MVI and several other research groups and drug firms are already working on next generation vaccines and on other ways of making malaria shots they hope will better the roughly 50 percent success rate of RTS,S.

“The work is not over, that is for sure,” Cohen said.

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  • http://blog.earthshod.co.uk/ AJS

    Let’s hope that Cohen et al take a leaf out of Jonas Salk’s book, eh?

    Well, a person can dream …..


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