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Indictment Casts Doubt On Results In AID Malaria Project

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 invest

Jim Anderson

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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