10 Ways Bill Gates Is Saving The World

bill gates

Photo: AP

In a relatively short period of time Bill Gates has gone from being seen as an evil man at the helm an intimidating monopoly, to a benevolent saviour of the world.It’s all thanks to the work he’s doing with the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation which is spending his billions around the world to fight the spread of disease and develop richer sources of food for the neediest people in the world.

We took a look at 10 of the most interesting projects from the very impressive foundation.

They're working on making a better banana

It has almost eradicated polio entirely

Cases of polio are down 99%, and the Gates foundation wants to eliminate it entirely. It has been on an aggressive vaccination program, and it is pushing to vaccinate the few remaining areas of the world that have cases of polio.

It is investing heavily in reducing cases of Malaria

How serious is Bill Gates about trying to reduce cases of Malaria? Serious enough to set loose a couple of mosquitoes on the elite audience of the Ted conference.

The Gates foundation has helped reduce cases of Malaria in Zambia by investing in a test program that had had people sleep under insecticide treated bed nets, and had their homes spray with insecticide. That worked well and was done in other countries.

The foundation is also investing in finding a vaccine for malaria and new insecticides.

Turning poop into biodiesel

Columbia engineering professor Katarik Chandran won a $1.5 million grant from the Foundation to work on turning 'faecal sludge' into biodiesel fuel. If it could work it would be a great way to convert waste into something useful. (via GeekWire)

It's also trying to make cassava a more healthy food

Here's another one from a good New York Times article on the foundation: A group funded by the foundation is working on 'decreasing the natural cyanide in the tubers, increasing the protein, iron, zinc and vitamins A and E, and engineering in resistance to new cassava diseases.' Cassava is eaten by 800 million people around the world.

The foundation is spending $42 million to reinvent the toilet

The foundation wants to help the 40% of the world that doesn't have toilets that flush by building a standalone unit without piped-in water or electricity that will turn waste into energy, clean water, or nutrients. More details here.

It is spending over $2 billion to fight HIV

The Gates foundation is a (small) part of the reason the rate of new HIV infections declined between 2001 and 2008. It's putting money in vaccines, preventing outbreak in Africa, and reducing treatment costs.

They are spending $1.5 billion on women and children's health issues

In an interview with with the NYT, Melinda Gates said, 'It's about time that women are on the agenda.' To that end, the foundation is spending money to lobby and enact changes in health policies around the world to be more beneficial for women and children.

They're trying a bunch of experiments to vaccinate mosquitoes

One experiment would cause a mosquito to be vaccinated when it bites a human. Another experiment vaccinates mosquito's ahead of time causing them to die before they can get too dangerous.

Bill and Melinda are trying to get billionaires to give away their money

Bill and Melinda Gates aren't content with merely giving away their own money, they want other billionaires to follow in their path. The more money pooled together to fight diseases around the world, the better.

What about his old project?

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