Courtesy of Ed Rowton, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

An anopheline mosquito taking a blood meal.
Researchers and physicians, open your guides to rare diseases, for that may be the only place you'll encounter Jumping Frenchmen of Maine. There you also will find Kabuki Make-up Syndrome, Split-Hand Deformity, Stiff Person Syndrome, Tangier Disease, and Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. These are among thousands of "orphan diseases," originally so called because they weren't "adopted" by sponsors of new drugs to treat or prevent them. Yet, orphan diseases also include such terribly familiar names as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid, and malaria. That's because those maladies are more prevalent in the poor marketplace of developing countries than in the developed world, a fact providing little financial incentive for the private sector to make new medications.

In the case of malaria, however, government and foundation initiatives are under way, with private sector involvement, including a commitment...

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