Bill Gates Shares Plan To Tackle The 'World's Deadliest Animal'

Bill Gates Shares Plan To Tackle The 'World's Deadliest Animal'

Microsoft Corporation MSFT co-founder Bill Gates shared a plan to outsmart the “world’s deadliest animal” on Monday.

What Happened: Gates recently wrote on his blog about a building in Medellín, Colombia, where scientists are breeding “millions and millions” of mosquitoes. 

The scientists are feeding the mosquitoes “generous helpings” of fishmeal, sugar and blood, said Gates.

The mosquito breeding factory may appear akin to a “Hollywood writer’s horror film plot,” according to the former Microsoft executive, but in reality, the insects are “helping to save and improve millions of lives.”

The mosquitoes in the factory are infected with Wolbachia bacteria, which blocks them from transmitting viral diseases like dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever to humans, said Scott O’Neill, founder and director of the World Mosquito Program, in a video shared by Gates.

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Why It Matters: The released mosquitoes in turn pass on the bacteria by mating with mosquitoes in the wild, according to O’Neill.

“Years ago, the idea of releasing mosquitoes as an ally in the fight against diseases struck many people as crazy,” Gates said, pointing out data that indicated that dengue cases have declined 89% in Medellín since Wolbachia mosquitoes started being released in 2015.

Gates, who founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000 said the biggest risk from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes comes in the form of dengue, which infects more than 400 million people each year and kills 20,000.

In July, the philanthropist raised alarm over mosquitoes and said they killed more people in one day than sharks did in 100 years.

Price Action: On Monday, Microsoft shares closed 0.5% higher at $293.47 in the regular session, according to data from Benzinga Pro. 
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