Ben Hirschler

Malaria can be beaten in many places, say researchers

Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds, yet in many parts of the world the disease is hanging on by a thread and could be wiped out by concerted action, researchers said on Tuesday.The research shows nearly half the 2,37-billion people at risk from the mosquito-borne killer live in areas where the chance of actually catching the disease is less than 0,01% a year.

Whose DNA? Forensic boom stokes ethical fears

In September 1987, Colin Pitchfork, a baker from central England, became the first criminal in the world to be caught by DNA evidence, for the rape and murder of two 15-year-old girls. He was sentenced to life imprisonment the following January. Twenty years on, analysing DNA from blood, hair, saliva or semen at crime scenes is ubiquitous and has helped solve hundreds of thousands of crimes.

SA tests first new TB vaccine in 80 years

The first new vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) in more than 80 years has entered mid-stage trials in South Africa, where the killer disease is rife, scientists said on Saturday. If the tests are successful, a new shot against M tuberculosis bacteria could be available within eight years.

Hurricanes in the Mediterranean?

Global warming could trigger hurricanes over the Mediterranean sea, threatening one of the world's most densely populated coastal regions, according to European scientists. A new study shows a rise of three degrees Celsius in average temperatures could set the storms off in the enclosed Mediterranean in future.

Cut-price malaria pill launched for Africa

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has launched a new cheap and easy-to-take combination pill to fight malaria that could help reduce deaths from the killer disease in Africa, it said on Thursday. Sanofi will sell the drug at no profit for less than for adults and 50 cents for children under five years old.

Childhood allergy epidemic on the rise worldwide

Childhood allergies are on the rise around the world, including in many developing countries where asthma, eczema and hay fever are emerging as important public health problems, scientists said on Friday. Asthma, in particular, is responsible for millions of children missing school, ending up in hospital or even dying.

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