Walter Reed's Malaria Research

Sept. 15, 2010, 9:56 a.m.

   The Washington Post reports on Walter Reed Army Institute Of Research's "'human challenge model,' in which volunteers get bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes," so researchers can test medicines and vaccines. One prospective vaccine, RTS,S, was initially tested on Walter Reed volunteers in 1997 and is now "midway through what researchers describe as the largest and most promising trial in malaria-vaccine history, involving 16,000 babies at 11 sites in seven African countries," and $451 million in funding from the Bill  & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over the past 17 years, more than 950 volunteers have taken part in the program, which also includes projects to create "high-tech bug repellent" and a study of the parasite's molecular structures (Niiler, 9/7).

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