Archive for the 'Blogroll' Category

Blog for the artemisinin resistance containment project

We’ve talked about the looming threat of artemisinin-resistant malaria and its spread before (here and here). Well the Gates Foundation funded containment project for the P. falciparum strains along the Thai-Cambodia border has a blog. And it looks terrific – from vivid photos, an interview with Dr Wichai Satimai (director of the Thai Bureau of Vector-Borne Diseases), and a close look at the neat Cambodian cooler boxes, the writers have been busy since starting in September. I will be following with great interest.


The TH!NKABOUTIT malaria collection

19, and counting, excellent malaria posts (one previously discussed here). Dr Knols asks tough questions and we’ve both touched on hot topics from King Tut, military antimalarials, Fred Soper, DDT, counterfeit medicines, Chinese efforts in the Comoros, to science press releases.

Quick malaria links

  • Malaria articles on Karen Grepin’s blog – while only a few malaria dedicated blogs exist, some development and health blogs have a nice collection of posts including this one.
  • Assessment of malaria elimination in Zanzibar (old news) – even with a balanced outlook will it guide future actions – or are those predetermined by who’s paying for what?
  • Estimating malaria infections among pediatric fevers in Africa – good for forecasting drug supply. Why isn’t there more sensitivity analysis of model assumptions? This should be a prominent piece of such research. Note: there are one-way analyses of a few parameters buried in supplement three.
  • The rise and fall of Lapdap (chloroproguanil -dapsone, previously discussed here, hat tip: Matt Price) – a great story with key lessons for drug development.

Malaria, TED, lasers, and exploitation

Sonia Shah (no relation, check out her blog though) does not mince words. The author of a malaria history book, The Fever, wrote a scathing critique on the ridiculous anti-mosquito laser system and those who promote it  (thanks Russell/Sanjay).

I did see the ‘mosquito death ray’ invention a few months ago when it hit the web echo chamber – and did not write about it because it obviously had no realistic implication for malaria control. Why would someone build this? I assumed it was the too-much-free time creation of some garage hobbyist or, at best, a proof of concept for some other application, maybe the defense industry. Why the creator went to TED (or why they accepted) is beyond me. I’m glad someone is calling both groups out.

Addendum: Bart Knols, at our friend MalariaWorld, actually took pains to criticize the laser a month back


Need to stay up to date on malaria research? MalariaWorld is a site which consolidates and summarizes recent papers. They also have a blog and a useful list of malaria related job openings and graduate research positions.

I really have to hand it to Paul Chinnock and his team at Tropika. Paul has turned the site into what I think is the best source of groundbreaking and offbeat  malaria news on the web (the site covers tropical diseases in general). I like his editorial input as well – he’s not afraid delve into substantive comments or share doubts and criticism. However, changing the comment system to not require a log-in would be my one suggestion for them. Here are some of my recent favorites from Tropika:

  • MalERA – The malaria eradication research agenda – it’s arranged according to programmatic areas with all relevant documents made available, lists upcoming events, and has a forum to provide feedback! Well thought, transparent and progressive, I’m impressed.
  • Every day is Malaria Day – a gem of an article. With a brilliant tongue-in-cheek first paragraph lamenting single disease and the stifling positivity of today’s adovacy, Paul goes on to guard against magic bullets, creating false hopes, and the consequences of failure.
  • Gates, Lancet, priority setting in global health – a random hodgepodge of topics but noteworthy for not only mentioning that Ranbaxy plans to move forward with an antimalarial trial (which many news sources carried) but pointing out that Medicines for Malaria Ventures pulled out of that project after previous trial results.
  • Sharing experiences in vivax control – a) it is news on vivax b) I simply did not see this conference covered anywhere else
  • China and malaria elimination in the Solomons – a fascinating story about an scaled up malaria control effort and the controversy it has generated. The tone of the discussion (in the original news source, not the Tropika article) is disturbing and I hope to write more about this soon.

Note: Posts have been sparse but this will likely continue with USMLE exams and work in India coming up