Back to Africa

Photo: Courtesy of Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases SCIENTIST IN ISOLATION: African researchers, like this technician at the University of Khartoum, struggle to collaborate with other scientists. The release of the decoded genome for Plasmodium falciparum (the most deadly malaria parasite) in October represented a momentous step forward for the people of Africa. Around the same time, Abdoulaye Djimde, the head of the epidemiology and immunology department a

Sam Jaffe
Nov 24, 2002
Photo: Courtesy of Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases
 SCIENTIST IN ISOLATION: African researchers, like this technician at the University of Khartoum, struggle to collaborate with other scientists.

The release of the decoded genome for Plasmodium falciparum (the most deadly malaria parasite) in October represented a momentous step forward for the people of Africa. Around the same time, Abdoulaye Djimde, the head of the epidemiology and immunology department at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, had other concerns.

The single airline that services Bamako had a maintenance problem with its jets, leaving Djimde and the other passengers stuck in Paris for two days. While a two-day stay in Paris with a free hotel pass might appeal to some, Djimde had no time to enjoy his stay. His carry-on baggage consisted of a large cooler filled with reagents and stocked with dry ice, which...