Malaria, the mosquito-borne scourge that kills at least 1.5 million people worldwide each year, has spawned a vigorous counterattack. From a World Health Organization plan to help countries prevent and treat the disease to efforts to sequence the malaria parasite's genome, reported in this week's Science, experts have ratcheted up efforts over the past 2 years to cut malaria's toll. For a huge trove of malaria information and news, visit www.malaria.org, run by the nonprofit Malaria Foundation International.
The site's aim, says the foundation's Kathryn Nason-Burchenal, is to provide "one-stop shopping for malaria questions," for everyone from researchers to the lay public. You can read about the malaria parasite's life cycle and link to a world map of chloroquine resistance, or catch up on the current debate over an international treaty to ban DDT, a pesticide used to kill mosquitoes. There are updates on projects like the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, which is working to develop better malaria drugs and vaccines. Head for the scientific information section for links to journals, a free online epidemiology course, a brand-new database in Israel of malaria parasite metabolic pathways, or the latest country-by-country stats: In Laos, for instance, there were 399 malaria deaths last year.