Why the fight against malaria has stalled in southern Africa, and how to look for signs of life on Mars

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On this week’s show: After years of steep declines, researchers are investigating why malaria deaths have plateaued, and testing the stability of biosignatures in space

First up on the podcast this week, freelance science journalist Leslie Roberts joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why malaria deaths have plateaued in southern Africa, despite years of declines in deaths and billions of dollars spent. Leslie visited Mozambique on a global reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center where researchers are investigating the cause of the pause.

Also this week, producer Kevin McLean talks with astrobiologists Mickael Baqué and Jean-Pierre de Vera of the German Aerospace Center. They discuss their Science Advances paper about an experiment on the International Space Station looking at the stability of biosignatures in space and what that means for our search for life on Mars.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: enhanced-color image of Mars’ Jezero crater was taken by NASA’s Perseverance with podcast overlay symbol]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Leslie Roberts; Kevin McLean

Episode page: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.ade7839

About the Science Podcast: https://www.science.org/content/page/about-science-podcast 

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