Because Filipinos tend to excel in whatever field they are in.
Rhoel Dinglasan, a Pinoy postdoctoral fellow in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, recently discovered a new and more potent vaccine against the dreaded Malaria.
More potent: Stopping Spread of Malaria from the very source.
Quoting TIME magazine, which recently featured Rhoel's discovery:
Traditional vaccines work by introducing a killed or weakened version of a disease into the body, where the immune system spots it and cranks out antibodies against it. Then, if a wild strain of the pathogen comes along later — one that has the power to sicken or kill — the body is ready for it. The new approach is different. Developed by Rhoel Dinglasan, an entomologist and biologist at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, it would instead work within the mosquito gut.
Dinglasan has found an antigen, called AnAPN1, that causes humans to create antibodies that prevent transmission of malaria by mosquitoes. Get enough of these antibodies into mosquitoes, and you lock the disease up there and prevent it from infecting us. Sounds good, but how do you implement such a strategy? You can hardly vaccinate the mosquitoes themselves. Instead, you put the AnAPN1 into their food source: us. A mosquito that bites an inoculated person would pick up the antibodies and then be sidelined from the malaria-transmission game.
Dinglasan — who comes from the Philippines, where some islands are still affected by malaria — sees things in a more basic way. Malaria, he says, is "a dark cloud. We're talking about the deaths of small children. They can't get past the age of 5. I don't know if you can measure the full impact of that." You can't. Nor can you measure the sense of global relief when that kind of suffering is over for good.
Mabuhay ka, Rhoel! You make all Pinoys proud! :)
*Photo courtesy of John Hopkins University official site