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E-interview with Fredros Okumu (Kenya, 1981)

February 21, 2010 - 12:47 -- Bart G.J. Knols

E-interviews are a new section on MalariaWorld, where we interview members about their work and role in the field of malaria. This is our first e-interview, with Mr. Fredros Okumu, working at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania and PhD student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

 

Question/Bart: Fredros, what are you currently working on and why is this important?

Will laser technology rid Africa of malaria?

February 16, 2010 - 12:11 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Last week, Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft executive, presented a fascinating new invention to the world during a talk at the TED conference. The TED talks are renowned for providing a stage for great people with great ideas... 

Speaking at TED means a lot of global attention, and Myhrvold played his cards right. With a display of the invention that uses laser technology to shoot down mosquitoes on the wing, and some stunning video footage, it was certain that the global press would jump on the story. Hundreds of websites and facebook pages covered this breakthrough, that was twittered to hundreds of thousands of people around the planet. Intellectual Ventures, the company headed by Myhrvold, has done well this week.

Interestingly, although the world may think this is a new invention, it is not. The Wall Street Journal ran an article on the same invention on 14 March 2009. Back then the video footage wasn't as exciting, leading to limited press attention. But why did Myhrvold not use the last ten months to demonstrate the potential of his invention in the real world, in a rural setting somewhere in Africa?

CLOSED: PhD Studentships in The Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases : Camden Town, Greater London WC1E 7, UK

February 13, 2010 - 20:04 -- Ingeborg van Schayk

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine invites applications for Three PhD studentships in the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.

What do bednets and Trabant cars have in common?

February 3, 2010 - 16:08 -- Bart G.J. Knols

There is a good reason for putting out a large variety of products with similar function on the market – like cars. It simply has to do with our innate differences in preference with regard to colour, shape, make, etc. Some like a blue car, others a white or a red one. And, suprise surprise, the great level of differentation means that almost everyone can find a car that matches his/her preferences at an affordable price....

Transgenic human skin bacteria to produce repellents?

February 1, 2010 - 08:07 -- Bart G.J. Knols

Ninety years ago it was discovered that mosquitoes track us down at night by responding to the smell we as humans produce. Since then, many studies have focused on identifying the nature of the chemicals we produce with the aim to use them to lure mosquitoes to trapping devices, thereby interrupting bloodfeeding and thus transmission of diseases like malaria. But why is there still no trap available for use in the developing world where malaria hits hardest?

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