January 09, 2014

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Senior Program Assistant

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

Researchers at Rice University have developed a rapid malaria test that uses laser pulse—eliminating the need to draw blood. The test has been found safe in healthy humans and will soon be tested on humans with malaria symptoms.

The White House has nominated Dr. Deborah Birx as the next Global AIDS Coordinator and to lead the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Dr. Birx is currently the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program and works on PEPFAR implementation at her agency.

The US Agency for International Development and GHTC member Population Council have entered into an agreement to develop a non-antiretroviral-based microbicide to block HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. If successful, the partnership could offer a low-risk, easily accessible product for women in low- and middle-income countries.

According to the results of an early-stage clinical trial, patients with multi-drug resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis (TB) could be treated by using stem cells taken from their own bone marrow. If successful, the treatment could be an alternative for patients with MDR- or XDR-TB who do not respond to conventional drug treatment options.