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Data Sharing Aids the Fight Against Malaria

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the information-wants-to-fight-parasites dept.

Medicine 42

ananyo writes "Two years ago, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it would release details of about 13,500 molecules that had already been shown to inhibit the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum parasite to some degree. The molecular structures were published in May 2010, along with similar data from Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, and the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Researchers were encouraged to test the combined library of more than 20,000 compounds to pinpoint potential drugs, and then find out how they work so that the molecules could be tweaked to enhance their activity. Such 'open innovation' efforts have since been launched, including an effort unveiled last month which will see 11 companies sharing their intellectual property. But are such efforts working? The answer, judging by the GSK effort, seems to be a cautious 'yes.'"

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mosquito (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39040923)

bzzz.....frist!

Sharing IP (5, Insightful)

goodgod43 (1993368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39040933)

Actually makes the world a better place. Go figure.

Intellectual Property (3, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39040975)

I, as the sole owner of 3 patents, as well as share ownership of several more patents, have no problem with the concept of IP

However, I do have problem with the way IP has been used to hinder the progress of the innovation and the restriction of information flow, which damages the society as a whole

Tee hee hee! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041177)

Yeah, I can't deny it any longer. It's true, Slashdot. I'm a homosexual. The fact that so much homosexuality is leaking out of my ass proves beyond any reasonable doubt.

It's completely known now. Ahhhhh!

Re:Intellectual Property (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041241)

It has gotten even worse than that. Patents have been used by large corporations to engage in anti-competitive behavior.

Re:Intellectual Property (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39052091)

It has gotten even worse than that. Patents have been used by large corporations to engage in anti-competitive behavior.

This is what Jim Humble has said over and over. Protocols using MMS [miraclemineral.org] have proven successful, yet the FDA refuses to investigate any of the claims without hundreds of millions of dollars. Look at all the drugs being hawked on TV, the glibness of the caveats shows that profits outweigh safety. Properly made MMS can effect the health of anyone in a positive manner.
I, myself made repeated visits to a VA hospital for a recurring leg infection. The approved course consisted of Vancomycin, both IV for four to five days, followed by a two week course of capsules. Within four weeks I returned to the hospital with an infection worse than the last time. A six week course of MMS, increasing the dosage daily, and two years later the infection has yet to return. I have lost faith in doctors, the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA and the government that kowtows to Big Pharma. MMS cannot be patented, nor a profit be made, yet, it helps.

Re:Intellectual Property (1)

EnempE (709151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041631)

Your name is Taco Cowboy in this instance is quite ironic. I realize that it is homage, but still it did make me think that your patents are for things like "bands of rubber" or a "watch wrist" or something.

No disrespect intended, just sharing my giggle.

I 100% agree with you. The intent of these things was to improve the sharing of information, so that people would share information without the fear of getting ripped off. It has gone off the rails completely.

Re:Intellectual Property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042161)

software patents are designed to hinder the progress of innovation (for a time) and copyright is desgned to restrict the information flow (seems forever), so I'm not surprised that that's what they are used for (if that's what you mean by IP - I can't figure out what internet protocol would mean in this context).

Patents on devices resulting from actual physical hard engineering needing high capital investments are good, though.

Re:Sharing IP (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041255)

In some cases.

The fact that sharing IP can be a good thing does not mean that everyone should be required to give away all of their IP all the time.

Who is talking about giving IP away all the time ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041745)

The fact that sharing IP can be a good thing does not mean that everyone should be required to give away all of their IP all the time.

Umm ...

Where did you get the idea that IP holders are required to give away all their IP all the time?

As an IP holder my only fear is that the patents that I own would be mis-used by others

If someone is to file a new patent on top of the research (and/or idea) that my own patent(s) were based upon - such as an refinement / enhancement - then it would be dealt on the case by case basis

Should I object?

On what ground can I object?

Will I object?

Things like that get complicated that is why at times I need to consult others on what my options are

Or we could buy something else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041009)

like more screen-nets for people to put around their bedding areas.

Re:Or we could buy something else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041815)

And during the day you jury-rig your bed netting to form a giant tent when you're in the rice paddy?

Good Intentions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041213)

Certainly on some level they're doing good, but keep in mind an anti-malaria drug is likely to be low margin if not a money loser.

valuable (2)

deodiaus2 (980169) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041217)

Well, the reason why companies wish to protect intellectual property is to keep it to themselves. The fact that others were able to use it means that it has a value.
Companies patent and otherwise protect things on which they can profit.
In the BBC version of "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a bunch of philosopher were given the idea that they should patent ways of thinking and ideas. Many years prior to seeing that segment, I asked "Why can't physisists and mathematicians patent their ideas much like companies patent the business process. My thought were that a society as a whole does not want individuals to attain that sort of monopoly. However, companies want to do that. Consider the drug research field. Scientists working with public grants find promising drugs to cure or relieve a disease. Shouldn't they get more than just naming rights to the drugs? Pharma wants to take over the process and perform clinical testing. At that point, Pharma has a competitive advantage of scale and money required to perform clinical testing. They don't want to be be spending their cash doing stuff that can be diverted to other segments of society!

Opensource yes, benevolent no (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041245)

They will do this cos any Anti-Malarial drug in large parts of Asia and Africa will be under price control. These pesky insects are not the "white" man's disease anymore. So not worth their time and research dollars. So it's not really benevolent, it's a calculated ploy to earn "good will" for use elsewhere. Like hiding those pesky test data which kills a few thousand people.

Just what the world needs! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041263)

Just what the world needs, more mouths to feed. and in third world countries as a plus! I understand the altruistic nature of people, but at some point we need to stop expanding the world's population. How?

Re:Just what the world needs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39047083)

It's more easy than you think...

First electricity must be common enough to make having a home computer seem reasonable. Then you need cheap if not free high-speed internet and easy access to pr0n. After perusing photos and videos of attractive professionals given the airbrush treatment and such from the privacy of computers at home, suddenly guys will take less interest in that not-so-shapely unibrow girl next door with the funky hairy mole. Compared to pr0n, she's likely not going to be good enough anymore if not a boner-killer when it comes to looks.

In other words, make it a lot easier or more desirable to wank than to actually fuck and suddenly population growth stabilizes or even goes negative. Developed countries with low immigration levels seem to be indicative of this trend. (Take Japan for instance with their weird perversions, fetishes, and otaku sub-culture.) And these countries have people with long lifespans, no big outbreaks of disease, war, or active government policy to reduce population growth.

The trick is making this happen where religion or other cultural institutions tend to make these things difficult or illegal to have access to.

Data-sharing AIDS: the fight against malaria (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041315)

That's great, but once we've eradicated malaria how will we get rid of the data-sharing AIDS?

Re:Data-sharing AIDS: the fight against malaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041401)

Chinese needle snakes maybe?

Re:Data-sharing AIDS: the fight against malaria (1)

EnempE (709151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041657)

Don't worry, the MPAA, RIAA, many large organizations and government officials working hard to get rid of data-sharing AIDS on the Internet as we speak.

We know how to eradicate malaria... (2, Informative)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041625)

...it's called DDT. Contrary to the lies of Rachel Carlson's "Silent Spring", DDT is safe, effective, and non-toxic to humans and animals.

http://www.wnd.com/2005/06/31095/ [wnd.com]

MOD PARENT UP (1, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041705)

dead on correct. Rachael Carson has killed more people than Hitler.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39041959)

Bologna. DDT has never been banned for mosquito eradication.

Do you realize that the farmers were literally plowing thousands of gallons of DDT into the soil to kill crop eating bugs? You think this was a good thing? *That* is what Carson was against.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042109)

Do you realize that the farmers were literally plowing thousands of gallons of DDT into the soil to kill crop eating bugs? You think this was a good thing?

In a word, yes.

DDT is safe, effective and non-toxic to humans and animals, period.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042271)

DDT is safe, effective and non-toxic to humans and animals, period.

Jesus H. Christ. First of all, since insects are in fact animals, no insecticide is "non-toxic to animals" by definition. Second, if by "humans and animals" you actually mean "mammals and birds," go back and read the Wikipedia page -- carefully this time, not just cherry-picking lines that you think support your position. If that doesn't convince you, fine, follow the references. DDT cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called non-toxic.

If you want to argue that the public health benefits of DDT spraying outweight the toxicity risk, go right ahead; it's a reasonable debate to have. But by using such a blatant and easily disproved lie as the one I quoted above, you're drastically weakening whatever case you might make.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042395)

Second, if by "humans and animals" you actually mean "mammals and birds,"

Yes, I do.

go back and read the Wikipedia page

Which I did.

If that doesn't convince you, fine, follow the references.

Which I did.

DDT cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called non-toxic.

It absolutely can. The purported effects on mammals and birds espoused by Rachel Carson in "Silent Spring" were lies. DDT is safe for mammals, including humans, and safe for birds.

http://junkscience.com/1999/07/26/100-things-you-should-know-about-ddt/ [junkscience.com]

"10.Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote “Dr. DeWitt’s now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched.” DeWitt’s 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the “control”" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt’s report that “control” pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs."

Re:MOD PARENT UP (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042547)

So it hasn't occurred to you that maybe our understanding of the biology of DDT might have advanced just a little in the last fifty-plus years? You seem to have this weird obsession with a book published in 1962, and the only credible source you've cited so far is six years older than that! How about you read some more recent sources, and if you have arguments with their observations or analysis, let us know. And by "sources," I mean scientific publications, not echo-chamber blogs. Here's a place to start. [nih.gov]

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045115)

So it hasn't occurred to you that maybe our understanding of the biology of DDT might have advanced just a little in the last fifty-plus years?

Go ahead, read *any* of the various cites from nih.gov. Here's your typical abstract from 2011:

"Compared to the reported DDT levels demonstrated to have toxic effects on frogs, DDTs in the present frogs are unlikely to constitute an immediate health risk. However, the adverse impacts of high DDTs residues in eggs on the hatching success and their potential toxicity to the newly metamorphosed larval frogs, should be further assessed."

Or how about this one, also from 2011:

"Apoptosis correlated to DDE exposure (p=0.040), as previously found. DNA damage also correlated to DDT (p=0.005) and DDE (p=0.004) levels. However, *neither exposure to DDT or DDE and oxidative damage, nor oxidative damage and apoptosis, were significantly correlated.* Children living in Lacanja, Chiapas, one of the communities studied in this work, *had the highest levels of exposure to DDT and its metabolites, yet had the lowest percentage of apoptosis*."

50+ years of research, and we *still* haven't found any toxic effects of DDT on mammals or birds (or, in this case, amphibians).

As for echo chamber blogs, they've got cites well past 1962:

"20. Human ingestion of DDT was estimated to average about 0.0026 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day (mg/kg/day) about 0.18 milligrams per day. [Hayes, W. 1956. J Amer Medical Assn, Oct. 1956]

21. In 1967, the daily average intake of DDT by 20 men with high occupational exposure was estimated to be 17.5 to 18 mg/man per day, as compared with an average of 0.04 mg/man per day for the general population. [IARC V.5, 1974].

22. Dr. Alice Ottoboni, toxicologist for the state of California, estimated that the average American ingests between 0.0006 mg/kg/day and 0.0001 mg/kg/day of DDT. [Ottoboni, A. et al. California's Health, August 1969 & May 1972]

23. “In the United States, the average amount of DDT and DDE eaten daily in food in 1981 was 2.24 micrograms per day (ug/day) (0.000032 mg/kg/day), with root and leafy vegetables containing the highest amount. Meat, fish, and poultry also contain very low levels of these compounds.” [Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 1989.Public Health Statement: DDT, DDE, and DDD]

24. The World Health Organization set an acceptable daily intake of DDT for humans at 0.01 mg/kg/day.

25. “Air samples in the United States have shown levels of DDT ranging from 0.00001 to 1.56 micrograms per cubic meter of air (ug/m3), depending on the location and year of sampling. Most reported samples were collected in the mid 1970s, and present levels are expected to be much lower. DDT and DDE have been reported in surface waters at levels of 0.001 micrograms per liter (ug/L), while DDD generally is not found in surface water. National soil testing programs in the early 1970s have reported levels in soil ranging from 0.18 to 5.86 parts per million (ppm).” [Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. 1989.Public Health Statement: DDT, DDE, and DDD]

26. Feeding primates more than 33,000 times the average daily human exposure to DDT (as estimated in 1969 and 1972) was “inconclusive with respect to a carcinogenic effect of DDT in nonhuman primates.” [J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 1999;125(3-4):219-25]

27. A nested case-control study was conducted to examine the association between serum concentrations of DDE and PCBs and the development of breast cancer up to 20 years later. Cases (n = 346) and controls (n = 346) were selected from cohorts of women who donated blood in 1974, 1989, or both, and were matched on age, race, menopausal status, and month and year of blood donation. “Even after 20 years of follow-up, exposure to relatively high concentrations of DDE or PCBs showed no evidence of contributing to an increased risk of breast cancer.”
[Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1999 Jun;8(6):525-32]

28. To prospectively evaluate relationships of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs with breast cancer, a case-control study nested in a cohort using the Columbia, Missouri Breast Cancer Serum Bank. Women donated blood in 1977- 87, and during up to 9.5 years follow-up, 105 donors who met the inclusion criteria for the current study were diagnosed with breast cancer. For each case, two controls matched on age and date of blood collection were selected. Five DDT analogs, 13 other organochlorine pesticides, and 27 PCBs were measured in serum. Results of this study do not support a role for organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in breast cancer etiology. [Cancer Causes Control 1999 Feb;10(1):1-11]

29. A pooled analysis examined whether exposure to DDT was associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma among male farmers. Data from three case-control studies from four midwestern states in the United States (Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas) were pooled to carry out analyses of 993 cases and 2918 controls. No strong consistent evidence was found for an association between exposure to DDT and risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. [Occup Environ Med 1998 Aug;55(8):522-7]

30. “We measured plasma levels of DDE and PCBs prospectively among 240 women who gave a blood sample in 1989 or 1990 and who were subsequently given a diagnosis of breast cancer before June 1, 1992. We compared these levels with those measured in matched control women in whom breast cancer did not develop. Data on DDE were available for 236 pairs, and data on PCBs were available for 230 pairs. Our data do not support the hypothesis that exposure to [DDT] and PCBs increases the risk of breast cancer.” [N Engl J Med 1997;337:1253-8]

31. “ weakly estrogenic organochlorine compounds such as PCBs, DDT, and DDE are not a cause of breast cancer.” [http://www.nejm.org/content/1997/0337/0018/1303.asp]

32. To examine any possible links between exposure to DDE, the persistent metabolite of the pesticide dicophane (DDT), and breast cancer, 265 postmenopausal women with breast cancer and 341 controls matched for age and center were studied. Women with breast cancer had adipose DDE concentrations 9.2% lower than control women. No increased risk of breast cancer was found at higher concentrations. The odds ratio of breast cancer, adjusted for age and center, for the highest versus the lowest fourth of DDE distribution was 0.73 (95% confidence interval 0.44 to 1.21) and decreased to 0.48 (0.25 to 0.95; P for trend = 0.02) after adjustment for body mass index, age at first birth, and current alcohol drinking. Adjustment for other risk factors did not materially affect these estimates. This study does not support the hypothesis that DDE increases risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women in Europe. [BMJ 1997 Jul 12;315(7100):81-5]

33. No correlation at the population level can be demonstrated between exposures to DDT and the incidence of cancer at any site. It is concluded that DDT has had no significant impact on human cancer patterns and is unlikely to be an important carcinogen for man at previous exposure levels, within the statistical limitations of the data. [IARC Sci Publ 1985;(65):107-17]

34. Syrian golden hamsters were fed for their lifespan a diet containing 0, 125, 250 and 500 parts per million (ppm) of DDT. The incidence of tumor bearing animals was 13% among control females and ranged between 11-20% in treated females. In control males 8% had tumors. The incidence of tumor bearing animals among treated males ranged between 17-28%. [Tumori 1982 Feb 28;68(1):5-10]

35. None of 35 workers heavily exposed to DDT (600 times the average U.S. exposure for 9 to 19 years) developed cancer. [Laws, ER. 1967. Arch Env Health 15:766-775]

36. Men who voluntarily ingested 35 mgs of DDT daily for nearly two years were carefully examined for years and “developed no adverse effects.” [Hayes, W. 1956. JAMA 162:890-897]

37. DDT was found to reduce tumors in animals. [Laws, ER. 1971. Arch. Env Health, 23:181-184; McLean, AEM & EK McLean. 1967. Proc Nutr Soc 26;Okey, AB. 1972. Life Sciences 11:833-843;Sillinskas, KC & AB Okey. 1975. J Natl Cancer Inst 55:653- 657, 1975]

38. Rodent tests for a carcinogenic effect of DDT, DDE and TDE produced equivocal results despite extremely high doses (642 ppm of DDT, 3,295 ppm of TDE and 839 ppm of DDE). [National Toxicology Program, TR-131 Bioassays of DDT, TDE, and p,p'-DDE for Possible Carcinogenicity (CAS No. 50-29-3, CAS No. 72-54-8, CAS No. 72-55-9)]"

The bottom line is this - DDT is safe, effective, and non-toxic to humans, other mammals, birds *and* amphibians. 50+ years of research into the subject has failed to find any sort of toxic effect.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041987)

I find that hard to believe, when you take into account that mosquitos were already resistant [wikipedia.org] to DDT years before the substance was banned. In fact, the prohibitions on DDT explicitly included exemptions for malaria prevention. The book had nothing to do with the disuse of DDT against mosquitos.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (2)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042119)

Your wikipedia cite notes that DDT was an effective deterrent to even resistant mosquitos:

"DDT can still be effective against resistant mosquitoes, and the avoidance of DDT-sprayed walls by mosquitoes is an additional benefit of the chemical. For example, a 2007 study reported that resistant mosquitoes avoided treated huts"

Rachel Carson's lies about DDT in "Silent Spring" were enough to scare the world away from a safe, effective chemical, regardless of any specific policy recommendations she did or didn't make.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042289)

DDT was an effective deterrent to even resistant mosquitos

I don't think that means what you think that means. Mosquitos aren't exactly smart enough to consider the consequences of their actions - deterrence is meaningless to a creature so small that any amount of effectve poison is likely to kill them.

Re:We know how to eradicate malaria... (1)

dryeo (100693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39041961)

...it's called DDT. Contrary to the lies of Rachel Carlson's "Silent Spring", DDT is safe, effective, and non-toxic to humans and animals.

http://www.wnd.com/2005/06/31095/ [wnd.com]

And the one excepted and legal use of DDT now is to kill malaria carrying mosquitoes, at least those few that haven't developed resistance to DDT. Where this meme that DDT can't be used for controlling malaria started I don't know but would guess it started as misinformation for political purposes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Use_against_malaria [wikipedia.org]

As for its toxicity, while one of the safer organ-chlorides it should still be used in moderation, eg only when actually needed as it only slowly breaks down and is considered some what toxic. Of course it should also be used in moderation to prevent resistance building up in the target organisms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Effects_on_wildlife_and_eggshell_thinning [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Effects_on_human_health [wikipedia.org]

Re:We know how to eradicate malaria... (3, Informative)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042107)

And the one excepted and legal use of DDT now is to kill malaria carrying mosquitoes,

I refer you, dear sir, to the wonderful documentary "Not evil, just wrong." - http://www.noteviljustwrong.com/General/malaria-politics-and-ddt.html [noteviljustwrong.com]

"In 2006, after 25 years and 50 million preventable deaths, the World Health Organization reversed course and endorsed widespread use of the insecticide DDT to combat malaria. So much for that. Earlier this month, the U.N. agency quietly reverted to promoting less effective methods for attacking the disease. The result is a victory for politics over public health, and millions of the world's poor will suffer as a result.

The U.N. now plans to advocate for drastic reductions in the use of DDT, which kills or repels the mosquitoes that spread malaria. The aim "is to achieve a 30% cut in the application of DDT worldwide by 2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s, if not sooner," said WHO and the U.N. Environment Program in a statement on May 6.
Citing a five-year pilot program that reduced malaria cases in Mexico and South America by distributing antimalaria chloroquine pills to uninfected people, U.N. officials are ready to push for a "zero DDT world." Sounds nice, except for the facts. It's true that chloroquine has proven effective when used therapeutically, as in Brazil. But it's also true that scientists have questioned the safety of the drug as an oral prophylactic because it is toxic and has been shown to cause heart problems.

Most malarial deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, where chloroquine once worked but started failing in the 1970s as the parasite developed resistance. Even if the drugs were still effective in Africa, they're expensive and thus impractical for one of the world's poorest regions. That's not an argument against chloroquine, bed nets or other interventions. But it is an argument for continuing to make DDT spraying a key part of any effort to eradicate malaria, which kills about a million people -- mainly children -- every year. Nearly all of this spraying is done indoors, by the way, to block mosquito nesting at night. It is not sprayed willy-nilly in jungle habitat.

WHO is not saying that DDT shouldn't be used. But by revoking its stamp of approval, it sends a clear message to donors and afflicted countries that it prefers more politically correct interventions, even if they don't work as well. In recent years, countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia have started or expanded DDT spraying, often with the help of outside aid groups. But these governments are also eager to remain in the U.N.'s good graces, and donors typically are less interested in funding interventions that WHO discourages. "

Sadly, WHO's about-face has nothing to do with science or health and everything to do with bending to the will of well-placed environmentalists," says Roger Bate of Africa Fighting Malaria. "Bed net manufacturers and sellers of less-effective insecticides also don't benefit when DDT is employed and therefore oppose it, often behind the scenes."

It's no coincidence that WHO officials were joined by the head of the U.N. Environment Program to announce the new policy. There's no evidence that spraying DDT in the amounts necessary to kill dangerous mosquitoes imperils crops, animals or human health. But that didn't stop green groups like the Pesticide Action Network from urging the public to celebrate World Malaria Day last month by telling "the U.S. to protect children and families from malaria without spraying pesticides like DDT inside people's homes."

"We must take a position based on the science and the data," said WHO's malaria chief, Arata Kochi, in 2006. "One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual spraying. Of the dozen or so insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT." Mr. Kochi was right then, even if other WHO officials are now bowing to pressure to pretend otherwise."

Artemisinin and the Gates Foundation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042081)

A scientist found a way to produce artemisinin cheaper and the Gates Foundation helped fund his research. The new process should make artemisinin available to many people who could not afford it and could save many lives. This compound has also been looked at as an anti cancer agent. Now if someone will just fund clinical trials to provide some scientific evidence to see if it is an effective treatment for cancer as it is for malaria.

say what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042243)

They killed off malaria by giving it aids?

BOINC The Zeitgeist Movement Malaria Control (1)

bridgey655 (800826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39042627)

The effort to eradicate malaria is also currently under way through distributed research platforms such BOINC. The Zeitgeist Movement (of up to a million 'followers' worldwide) invite you to pull up a virtual chair and contribute your idle CPU time: http://wiki.zmlingteam.org/w/BOINC [zmlingteam.org] Stats: http://boincstats.com/stats/team_stats.php?pr=mcp&co=&st=0&or=12 [boincstats.com] Malaria must go during the transition to a resource based economic model: (1) http://www.thevenusproject.com/en/the-venus-project/resource-based-economy [thevenusproject.com] (2) http://www.thezeitgeistmovementuk.com/resource-based-economic-model [thezeitgei...mentuk.com]

Data Sharing Aids... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39042799)

Now that AIDS has turned to piracy, will ICE take the matter more seriously?

The real way to make money (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043271)

But are such efforts working? The answer, judging by the GSK effort, seems to be a cautious 'yes.'

Another way to make money by being "open" is to blow billions researching 10K molecules and discovering its a dead end, realize you're F'd unless you can convince the competition to screw up their finances just as bad, then release your pre-research plans without mentioning you've already blew the cash on the research and ask the competition to cooperatively research it for you. After they blow billions down a dead end rathole, then all you guys are "even". Everyone's poorer but at least you didn't get fired.

Another business model you can try is to get the competition to reproduce your research because you've got a crook/mole in your organization who you know pencil-whipped SOME of the research and you want a cheap way to get someone else to figure out which research was pencil whipped and which was real. As long as you can stay ahead of the pack, you "win".

Yes, yes I am an evil genius, although I assure you these business models were not implemented by me, these are merely practically read off my cards. I was going to publish a "card based business simulation" game kind of like MtG but all cutthroat crony capitalism, you know, like the world we live in. Daydream was much like monopoly was The Game of the 1st great depression, my card game would be The Game of the 2nd great depression we're currently in and I'd end up dotcom-rich. But it never went anywhere, I got distracted and busy and finally disinterested. I guess that means I ended up dotcom-rich after all.

As a meta-game I could license and release my card game IP under some CC license and try to get you all to "fix it up" for me, but actually use one of the two strategies above, that would be recursively funny. Sure, mattel inc, you guys get right to work on my business simulation card game, that's just a great idea that I'm sure will end well.

Malaria Aids the Fight Against Data Sharing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39043495)

Malaria results in less people being able to login and share personal information. so I support Malaria

GlaxoSmithKline - Tropical Infectious Diseases (2)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39043603)

I used to work for GlaxoSmithKline.

While Slashdot likes to rag on Big Pharma, GSK really doesn't get enough credit for it's charitable work, like their Lymphatic filariasis eradication campaign. They are the last of the major pharma companies that still has a tropical infectious disease division; it doesn't make any money, yet they've continued to operate it all these years, since the days of the British colonial period.

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