I am always interested in how science or health communicators often use popular culture as a hook for drawing people into interesting research. Every morning I scan the "blogosphere," news sites and other sources for interesting stories or items to share on MicrobeWorld. Today I came across the blog Infectious Bite, a website designed to connect people who share an interest in vampires and want to raise awareness about the devastating effects of malaria. What?! Vampires you say? Here's their proposal:
"You want to believe in romantic, super-hero vampires? Fine, you make our continued-existences easier.
You want to obsess about blood-drinkers? Do something about the food supply. Eradicate the world of those little blood-sucking mosquitoes that spread disease. Maybe then, vampires can enjoy a decent meal again.
Our proposition is simple: Make advances against malaria, and we will let you have your fictions--no matter how ridiculous you make us look."
In all seriousness though, these folks actually direct people to legitimate malaria resources and the latest papers in scientific publications on their Malaria Blog. Please check them out by clicking "source." It's a fun site to explore if you have the time.