WASHINGTON—The focus of the troubled 15-year U.S. Agency for International Development program to develop a malaria vaccine (The Scientist, July 10, 1989, page 1) has moved from the laboratory to the courtroom as government investigators charge that an attempt to halt a Third World plague may have been used by some scientists as a source of personal gain.

One of the leading scientists in the research program has been indicted on felony charges, and at least two other technical investigators plus a former manager of the program are targets of further probes. Moreover, charges of financial mismanagement and incompetence have led some researchers to question the scientific merits of the search for a cheap and universal vaccine against malaria. Two scientists have told The Scientist that they now believe earlier test results are suspect, and that so-called breakthroughs have produced results that could not be duplicated by other...

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