SaveSave story

How some people ward off malaria's deadliest form

CDC via AP

Some populations in East Africa have developed partial immunity to the deadliest form of malaria, a new study finds. In some cases, genetic changes reduced the risk of malaria by up to 40 percent.

What it means: The gene variant in certain people of East African descent helps keep a parasite that causes malaria from entering the bloodstream. The new findings could accelerate research into ways to combat malaria, as they're a next step toward discovering protective aspects from gene mutations or variants.