Daily digest April 24 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

First vaccine against malaria could protect young children

The world’s first malaria vaccine is partially effective and could protect millions of small children from the life-threatening disease, say scientists who have completed the final trials.

The vaccine has been in development for 20 years and has cost more than $500 million (£330 million) so far. Experts say that even a partially effective vaccine is an important breakthrough, the Guardian reports.

The results of the trials, published in the Lancet, show that the vaccine works better in children from the age of five months than in younger babies. This is a blow because it cannot be added to the routine infant vaccination schedule alongside the combined diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough vaccines.

Read more on the Guardian’s website

Outdoor lessons may help pupils’ eyesight

Children should be allowed to study outside to stop them becoming short-sighted, a study suggests.

Research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, has found that young people are spending so long inside for lessons that it is damaging their eyesight.

In China, pupils are already being taught in huge translucent boxes to try to halt their vision decline after a study found that 80 per cent of children in Beijing were short-sighted.

Around 40 per cent of Britons suffer from myopia, or short-sightedness, with experts warning that the figure is rising.

Experts at the Beijing Institute of Ophthalmology, who have been trialling the glass box school classrooms and enabling children to have lessons outside, have already found that it has reduced myopia by 23 per cent.

Read more on the Telegraph’s website

New drug offers hope to millions of asthma patients

A new treatment for asthma could be on the horizon after scientists discovered the role of a particular protein in causing the condition, the Times reports.

A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) plays a key role in symptoms such as airway narrowing, airway twitchiness and inflammation.

(£) Read the full story on the Times' website


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