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Malaria is a disease that still affects a significant proportion of the global human population. Whilst advances have been made in lowering the numbers of cases and deaths, it is clear that a strategy based solely on disease control year on year, without reducing transmission and ultimately eradicating the parasite, is unsustainable. This article highlights the current mainstay treatments alongside a selection of emerging new clinical molecules from the portfolio of Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) and our partners. In each case, the key highlights from each research phase are described to demonstrate how these new potential medicines were discovered. Given the increased focus of the community on eradicating the disease, the strategy for next generation combination medicines that will provide such potential is explained.
Neil Gehrels, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA,
David N. Burrows, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA
The study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) remains highly dependent on the capabilities of the observatories that carry out the measurements. The large detector size of BATSE produced an impressively large sample of GRBs for duration and sky distribution studies. The burst localization and repointing capabilities of BeppoSAX led to breakthroughs in host and progenitor understanding. The next phase in our understanding of GRBs is being provided by the Swift mission. In this chapter we discuss the capabilities and findings of the Swift mission and their relevance to our understanding of GRBs. We also examine what is being learned about star formation, supernovae, and the early Universe from the new results. In each section of the chapter, we close with a discussion of the new questions and issues raised by the Swift findings.
The Swift observatory
Swift (Gehrels et al. 2004) carries three instruments: a wide-field Burst Alert Telescope (BAT; Barthelmy et al. 2005a) that detects GRBs and positions them to arcminute accuracy, a narrow-field X-Ray Telescope (XRT; Burrows et al. 2005a) and a UV–Optical Telescope (UVOT; Roming et al. 2005) that observe their afterglows and determine positions to arcsecond accuracy, all within about 2 minutes. BAT is a coded aperture hard X-ray (15–350 keV) imager with 0.5 m2 of CdZnTe detectors (32 000 individual sensors; ~2400 cm2 effective area at 20 keV including mask occultation) and a 1.4 sr half-coded field of view.
SN1987A is the best-studied core-collapse supernova in the sky. We know what the progenitor was, what the circumstellar environment was, and what the explosion looked like over a broad electromagnetic bandpass and in neutrinos. For over a decade, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been monitoring SN1987A on a regular basis, obtaining resolved images of the developing interaction with the circumstellar material, as well as high resolution grating spectroscopy of the X-ray emission. We highlight the latest results from this campaign and discuss the overall picture of the remnant's structure that emerges from these observations.
We present year-scale morphological variations of the Crab Nebula revealed by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Observations have been performed about every 1.7 years over the three years from launch. The variations are clearly recognized at two sites: the torus and the southern jet. The torus, which had been steadily expanding until 1.7 years ago, now appears to have shrunk in the latest observation. Additionally, the circular structures seen to the northeast of the torus have decayed into several arcs. On the other hand, the southern jet shows the growth of its overall kinked-structure. We discuss the nature of these variations in terms of the pulsar wind nebula mechanism.
We report on the results of our monitoring program of SNR 1987A with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The high resolution images and the spectra from the latest Chandra data suggest that the blast wave has reached the dense inner ring on the western side of the SNR, as well as in the east. The observed soft X-ray flux is increasing more rapidly than ever, and the latest flux is four times brighter than three years ago.
Gilliland et al. (2000) have reported HST photometric observations of 34000 stars in the globular cluster 47 Tuc, showing an absence of close-in giant planets in that cluster relative to their frequency in the solar neighborhood. Here we describe the methods of time-series analysis that were used to search the 47 Tuc data for transits by giant extrasolar planets, and the means by which these methods were validated.
With sub-arcsecond angular resolution accompanied by fast time resolution and spatially resolved spectral capabilities, the Chandra X-ray Observatory provides a unique capability for the study of supernova remnants (SNRs) and pulsars. Though in its relative infancy, Chandra has already returned stunning images of SNRs which reveal the distribution of ejecta synthesized in the stellar explosions, the distinct properties of the forward and reverse shocks, and the presence of faint shells surrounding compact remnants. Pulsar observations have uncovered jet features as well as small-scaled structures in synchrotron nebulae. In this brief review we discuss results from early Chandra studies of pulsars and SNRs.
The intensity of the X-ray background between 0.5 and 1.0 keV has surprisingly little dependence on galactic latitude. Possible mechanisms for the production of these X-rays include extragalactic emission and emission from dM stars, both of which should be strongly dependent on galactic latitude, and diffuse emission from hot gas (T ≃ 3 x 106 K) surrounding the Sun. These mechanisms can be distinguished by the presence or absence of absorption by gas within a few hundred parsecs of the Sun. We use X-ray data from the HEA0-1 LED detectors and HI data from the recent Crawford Hill 21 cm survey to place limits on the 0.6 keV intensity originating within 300 pc of the Sun in the general direction of (l,b) = (150°, -30°).
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