Malaria is a well-known, deadly disease that has been torturing humanity for ages. The combat against this disease is an ongoing fight, but a Dutch research group decided to approach the problem from a totally different angle, and developed an innovative and promising approach.
Instead of focussing on treating and curing patients or attacking the mosquitos (who, after getting the parasite from a patient infect other people), they focus on fighting the parasite and so preventing the infection of mosquitos; thereby targeting the spreading of the disease. As the mosquitos themselves only live for about 3 weeks, this means that (once trials are successful and the resources are there to work this out on a global scale) we might be able to combat malaria for once and for all within a considerable timeframe.
The idea is great, a typical example of thinking out-of-the-box — being creative with the knowledge you have and taking a different perspective. Research and trials are well on their way, and the funding that epidemiologist Teun Bousema recently received through the Gates award gives him the opportunity to develop this concept in what may become a groundbreaking project writing history.