It looks like researchers are very close to a vaccine for malaria (New England Journal of Medicine); this is really exciting news in the area of public health, although I admittedly had to educate myself a bit more to appreciate it. Most vaccines are designed to go after viruses or bacteria, but malaria is a mosquito-spread parasite, and since takes many forms in its life cycle, it has been especially difficult to combat. The current results show a 50% success rate, which, while not fantastic, could have a huge impact. Of course, one of the big challenges, once the vaccine is available, will be funding and distributing it where it is needed. This is the beast that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation set out to tame several years ago, and it’s impressive what bringing such resources to bear can produce. Other efforts have been successful in reducing the spread of malaria, but they’ve targeted the mosquito. There’s more information at this article at NPR.