Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
A successful drug trial may have brought an anti–malaria treatment one step closer. GlaxoSmithKline has tested the RTS,S vaccine, which reduced the disease by almost half in five– to seven–month babies, and by a quarter in six– to 12–week olds, in clinical trials in South Africa and is now seeking a regulatory license for its use in the continent under a special provision of the European Medicines Agency.
Although the efficacy of the vaccine deteriorated slightly over time, the treatment would make a significant dent in the number of lives that are claimed by the disease in the worst–hit parts of Africa. According to the World Health Organisation, 2010 saw 219 million cases of malaria, with 660,000 of these being fatal. Almost two thirds of cases, says the agency, occur in children under 15 years of age.
The treatment, which was developed with help from U.S. not–for–profit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, whose VP of product development, David Kaslow, pointed out that, for every 1,000 children vaccinated, 941 cases of malaria were averted. If it goes ahead, GSK will make the vaccine a not–for–profit treatment, but will add an extra 5% to the cost price in order to fund more R&D on tropical diseases. Forty people alone are needed to analyse the paperwork––one million pages of it––from the trials.
Efforts to stop malaria in its tracks are varied––from low–tech campaigns, such as fines for villagers who do not use mosquito nets to campaigns to drum up money and support. But perhaps the disease’s most high–profile avengers are Bill and Melinda Gates, whose eponymous foundation has invested $200 million in the research on RTS,S. The couple have been behind all sorts of innovations, from hand–held lasers that zap the mosquitos––called the WMD, or Weapon of Mosquito Destruction––to smartphone apps.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.