Malaria in the Mist
The New York Times reported a shocker today: plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly strain of malaria, originated in gorillas—no in chimps, as the world has so long believed.
The Times reports:
The human disease probably came from a mutant parasite that crossed over from a single gorilla thousands of years ago. That implies that if malaria is ever wiped out in humans, it is unlikely that it will ever be reintroduced from apes.
Well, that’s a relief. At least now we know that when end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015, we won’t have to be worried that gorillas will bring it back. Gorillas are scary enough.
Read the full report in Nature.