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World – Bill Gates invests in chewing gum, chocolate to combat malaria

WASHINGTON: Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, believes chewing gum and chocolate could become the next tool to combat malaria, as he uses his
wealth to seek unconventional approaches to world health problems.

As part of its Grand Challenges Exploration programme, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has granted $100,000 to researchers hoping to use chewing gum to detect malaria indicators in saliva so that blood does not have to be drawn.

The five-year health research grants aims to encourage researchers to pursue bold ideas that could lead to breakthroughs, focusing on ways to prevent and treat infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Andrew Fung, a UCLA doctoral candidate, will use the grant to develop his idea on the revolutionary malaria test.

Fung admits his idea for an inexpensive and noninvasive new way to detect malaria started out as an intellectual exercise designed to showcase his creativity for a potential postdoctorate employer. He was hoping for a job, not a research grant. He may get both.

Gates also agreed to fund a research by Steven Maranz, from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who seeks to look at the effect of chocolate on the malaria parasite.

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October 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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