How the Gates Foundation Continues to Change the World

By Carey Rose August 19, 2011 Published in the September 2011 issue of Seattle Met

THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES Foundation made headlines this summer when they pledged $41.5 million to reinvent the toilet—a life-saving sanitation device that remains out of reach for many in developing nations. But another program, Grand Challenges Explorations—accepting applications this month—is set to provide equally crucial theme-based grants. Previous topics range from next-gen sanitation to malaria eradication to utilizing cellphones to increase awareness of the need for childhood vaccinations. Recent funding, says spokesperson Katie Harris, went toward engineering bacteria that will eradicate a pathogen responsible for diarrhea and traps that help prevent the spread of malaria by luring mosquitoes with the synthetically replicated stench of human feet.

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