The clinical trial of an experimental malaria vaccine among African babies has shown promising results.
The vaccine by Britain-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has been in development and trials for 20 years.
The jab presently known as RTS,S and tentatively brand-named Mosquirix was tested in about 214 infants in Mozambique where malaria is common.
'We have plenty of vaccines against viruses and bacteria but this would be the first vaccine against a parasitic infection in humans,' Joe Cohen, a GlaxoSmithKline scientist who has spent 20 years on the project, said.
The scientists are now going to conduct a bigger trial, which will begin next year in 10 sites across sub-Saharan Africa and involve 10,000 children. If successful, the vaccine will be licensed in 2011.
It would mark a hugely significant step forward in the fight against malaria.
Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bite of infected mosquitoes.
More than one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children and pregnant women and most of them are in Africa although the disease also affects Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Europe.
Soya shake may help reduce fat in postmenopausal women A study by US scientists suggests that a soya based drink a day may help postmenopausal women to reduce fat, particularly the fat that accumulates on the stomach.
Abdominal fat is particularly bad for health. It raises the risk of heart attacks and diabetes. Soya may also help women cut risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the study suggests.
The scientists looked at the effect of 'soya-a' vegetable protein supplements on the health of 15 women who had gone through menopause. They asked nine of the women to drink a 120-calorie soya shake a day, while six were given a dummy shake.