World Malaria Day-April 25, 2015
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World Malaria Day-April 25, 2015

                                  
      The Nobel Prize and Malaria
The word malaria or "mal'aria" is Italian in origin and translated means "bad air". The credit for first using this word to describe modern day malaria is attributed to the Italian physician Francisco Torti(1658-1741). Around the 1740, Dr. Torti used this term to describe a disease process that was prevalent in repugnant marshy areas.
Cuban Born physician, Carlos Finlay, is best known for his research on yellow fever. In 1881, Dr. Finley came to the conclusion that mosquitos were carriers of the organism causing yellow fever. Further investigation would identify the mosquito genus; Aedes as the organism transmitting yellow fever. His research was widely acclaimed, enabling Dr. Finlay to be nominated for the Nobel Prize seven times.
Sir Ronald Ross, born in India of English ancestry, was an aficionado of Dr. Finlay. When he cited his own work, he would often acknowledge the effort of Dr. Finlay. Dr. Ross' research, in and around the Indian village of Mahanad, allowed him to identify malaria parasites within the gastrointestinal of the Anopheles mosquito. His research was published in the December 1897 British Medical Journal. His discovery would make Dr. Ross, in 1902, the first Nobel Prize winner of English ancestry. Interesting to note that Dr. Ross' knowledge was not confined to medicine. As a Renaissance gentleman, his interests span over many topics. It was quoted that when Sir Ronald confirmed his discovery of malaria parasite he wrote a poem and dedicated it to his wife.
This day relenting God
Hath placed within my hand
A wondrous thing; and God
Be praised. At His command,
Seeking His secret deeds
With tears and toiling breath,
I find thy cunning seeds,
O million-murdering Death.
I know this little thing
A myriad men will save.
O Death, where is thy sting?
Thy victory, O Grave?
In the late 19th century, Dr. Charles Laveran described the existence of parasites dwelling inside the red blood cells of malarial patients. The French Army doctor's research proved that malaria was caused by a parasite. His discovery would win him the Nobel Prize in 1907.

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