Chimaeric Testicles and Malaria Vaccines

A couple of items from the medical research world today.

Researchers at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have made headway in the search for a vaccine against malaria. The press release is here.

The impact of a vaccine against malaria would be enormous if it is affordable by the poorer nations where the disease is prevalent. However, a lot of those nations are now being devastated by HIV/AIDS.

More astounding is that scientists have managed to produce goat and pig sperm from testes grafted on to the backs of mice. The objective is to use these techniques to generate sperm from endangered species. You graft testicular tissue from the endangered species on to a host – thereby increasing the number of sperm sources, although the genetic diversity would not increase. The research was published in Nature (volume 418, page 778) with the summary available from here.

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