Editor's note

America’s mid-term election has changed the balance of power in the US Congress, with Democrats taking control of the House and Republicans picking up seats in the Senate.

Steven Pressman of Colorado State examines two economic issues that will be affected by the results – “NAFTA 2.0” and infrastructure. Bob Britten of West Virginia University identifies the enduring image of the election. Plus: the latest on marijuana legalization and felon voting rights in Florida.

November is malaria season in southern Africa where four countries have committed themselves to eliminate the disease by 2023. To mark the region’s malaria week, academics unpack some of the issues that stand in the way of this ambitious goal. Givemore Munchenga explains how a new technique is being piloted to reduce infection rates. Successfully used on other insects, it involves introducing sterilised mosquitoes into the wild so that they can’t reproduce.

Elsewhere, concerted efforts are underway to find an effective vaccine. Faith Osier writes about the research she and her team are working on to understand how antibodies kill malaria.

Bryan Keogh

Economics + Business Editor

Top Stories

2 economic policies likely to change with Democrats in control of House

Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

While a divided Congress will likely mean gridlock, there are two economic policies likely to see significant change: trade and infrastructure.

What image will define the 2018 election?

Bob Britten, West Virginia University

Here's a riddle: What's the dominant image of the 2018 election campaign? There isn't one. But there are many.

Marijuana expands into 3 more states, but nationwide legalization still unlikely

Daniel J. Mallinson, Pennsylvania State University; Lee Hannah, Wright State University

Two-thirds of all US states now have some kind of legal pot, and support for legalization has never been higher. But ballot initiatives can only take legalization so far, researchers say.

Florida restores voting rights to 1.5 million citizens, which might also decrease crime

Victoria Shineman, University of Pittsburgh

New research shows that when ex-offenders are told they're able to vote, their attitudes about democracy and justice improve.

US mid-term results: six key issues and what they mean for the country’s uncertain future

Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham

The Democrats took the House of Representatives, but uncertainty remains and Trump is still standing. All eyes are now on Robert Mueller.

It’s not quite a ‘red wave’, but the US midterms show the power of Trump’s divisive messages

Timothy J. Lynch, University of Melbourne

Key victories by pro-Trump, anti-immigrant candidates have confirmed the president's hold on the Republican Party and his ability to turn out his conservative base.

Health + Medicine

South Africa investigates sterilising mosquitoes in anti-malaria drive

Givemore Munhenga, National Institute for Communicable Diseases

South Africa is piloting a new technique as it drives to eliminate malaria.

Novel approach brings African scientists closer to a malaria vaccine

Faith Osier, Wellcome Trust

Progress in malaria control has stalled. Research towards an effective vaccine is underway.