Bill Gates is perhaps one of the most generous philanthropists history has ever known.
But for multi-billionaires like him, whose passion for eradicating infectious diseases in the Third World is incomparable to any individual or institution, money is too easy to donate. That is why Bill traveled across the globe to Indonesia so he could donate his own blood for the cause.
But the genius behind Microsoft didn’t just donate his blood like any other would in a typical neighborhood Red Cross drive. Bill gave some of his blood for scientific research. At the Gadjah Mada University, where some of the most rigorous studies on dengue prevention occurs, Bill Gates allowed a swarm of mosquitoes to feed on his arm.
According to Gates, the blood feeding was to done to encourage the growth and spread of a new type of mosquitoes – one that has the Wolbachia bacterium, which according to scientists can potentially be helpful in blocking the transmission of dengue. These mosquitoes will be released in the open, allowing them to mate with the mosquitoes in the wild and effectively spreading the Wolbachia strain with them.
On Reddit, Bill Gates posted the picture of him nonchalantly allowing a terrifying swarm of mosquitoes prey on his arm. Within a few hours, redditors flocked to the comment section to give praises to Gates’ sacrifices for humankind. 20pennySpike wrote:
“Just want to take a second to thank you for all the philanthropic work you do Mr. Gates. You rock!”
Feight00, inspired by Bill’s contributions to society, had an impossible request for the tech billionaire:
Please don’t die.
During his trip to Indonesia, he had the opportunity of releasing these mosquitoes with Wolbachia into the wild.
On Gates’ blog, he explained the extensive work involved in developing these lab-reared mosquitoes. Bill wrote his admiration for the scientists directly involved with the production of these types of mosquitoes, which have to be fed human blood from their arms everyday so they could produce eggs. Gates says that allowing his arm to be bitten by these lab mosquitoes is a “small price to pay” for a project that has the huge potential of eliminating dengue once and for all.
Bill Gates is once again a busy player in the corporate world as he vowed to take an active role in the day-to-day operations of Microsoft. Nevertheless, helping others remains his number one priority. Earlier this year, his foundation was instrumental in totally eradicating polio in India.
[Image from Bill Gates’ Reddit account]