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Japanese researchers: New vaccine reduces malaria infection by 72 percent

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A team of Japanese researchers say they have developed a vaccine that cuts the risk of malaria developing in humans by more than two-thirds.

The disease, which is carried by parasite-bearing mosquitoes, kills around 650,000 people each year, mostly African children under five, according to the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO).

While there are a number of preventative medicines already in use, scientists say drug-resistance is growing.

Researchers from Osaka University have developed a dry powder vaccine, called BK-SE36, from a genetically-modified protein found inside the parasite, which they mixed with aluminum hydroxyl gel.

“The vaccine’s effect is greater than those hitherto reported of any other antimalaria vaccines,” a statement issued this week said, adding BK-SE36 is expected to reduce markedly the number of deaths caused by the mosquito-borne disease.

The vaccine has already undergone trials on adults in Japan and was also tested in a malaria-endemic area in northern Uganda between 2010 and 2011. Neither study found any safety problems.

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A follow-up study of people in Uganda, aged between six and 20, found the vaccine lowered the number of people infected by malaria by 72 percent.

The findings were published on Tuesday on the online US science journal PLOS One, according the statement.

BK-SE36 far outperformed the 31 percent decline achieved by another new vaccine developed by a British company, the statement said.

Professor Toshihiro Horii, who led the study, told Jiji Press he wants to put BK-SE36 to practical use “in five years after conducting a clinical trial on infants between zero and five, who account for the bulk of malaria deaths.”

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The study came as a non-profit group said Friday it was launching a project to comb the catalogues of some of Japan’s biggest drug companies in the hunt for treatments for diseases that kill thousands of people every year.

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), set up by the Japanese government, Japanese pharma companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said they were looking at a potential five-year commitment of more than $100 million to support research and development into neglected diseases.

The project will see researchers looking through the libraries of compounds held by drug companies to see what possible treatments they contain for tuberculosis, malaria, and other illnesses that threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the five-yearly Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which will see Japan welcome heads of government from up to 40 African countries.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Donald Trump Jr torn to shreds for suggesting his dad has been treated worse than slaves and Native Americans

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Donald Trump Jr. thinks his father has been treated worse than any human in American history -- including slaves, Native Americans and presidents who have been assassinated while in office.

After President Donald Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that "there's never been a time in the history of our country where somebody was so mistreated as I have been," Trump Jr. jumped on Twitter to defend his father and simply said that "he's right."

He’s right. https://t.co/ZRlenHkXrq

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The Vatican’s latest official document is an insult to LGBTQ people — and to history

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During the fourth-century, Sergius and Bacchus, two inseparable Syrian soldiers in the Roman emperor Galerius’ army, were outed as secret Christians when they refused to pay homage to the god Jupiter. The incensed emperor ordered them beaten, chained, and then, as their fourth-century hagiographer explained, paraded through the barracks with “all other military garb removed… and women’s clothing placed on them.” Both men were sent to trial; Bacchus refused to abjure his faith in Christ and was beaten to death by his fellow Roman soldiers as punishment. The night before Sergius was to be similarly asked to recant his Christianity, the spirit of Bacchus appeared before his partner. With his “face as radiant as an angel’s, wearing an officer’s uniform,” Bacchus asked, “Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union.”

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2020 Election

Obsessed Trump: ‘Only fake polls show us behind’ Democrats. Fox News: 5 Dems would beat him

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President Donald Trump is obsessed with polls – but not facts – and increasingly so. He just fired his internal pollsters after leaked internal poll numbers show devastating lossesfor Trump in key battleground states.

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