Malaysia Airlines crash kills AIDS researchers

A particularly depressing addendum to the story of a passenger jet shot down in Ukrainian air space: Of the 298 people on board, roughly 100 were people flying to an international conference on AIDS research.

Not all the people were scientists. Some were activists, others were staff facilitating and promoting research with groups like the World Health Organization. Among the dead is Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society who is being remembered for his particularly strong commitment to ensuring access to HIV medication in developing countries.

While it's particularly shocking to lose so many people working on a single subject at once, this is not the first time that top AIDS researchers have died in plane crashes. One of the scientists involved in creating the first HIV medications died in the bombing of Pan Am 103 and two others were aboard Swissair 111, which crashed near Nova Scotia in 1998 after a fire onboard.