It's no secret that after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates has decided to dedicate much of his life to philanthropy. It's a nobile cause, and its great to see someone in his position putting forward so much time and money for the better of others.
We've heard of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation looking for more effective ways of combatting malaria and have put a great amount of money into HIV and AIDS research. His belief is that all lives have equal value, and he truly became involved after learning that there are deseases that have been completely eliminated from the United States that still exist and kill millions.
Interestingly, back in July 9, 2009, Microsoft filed for a patent on "Adapting Parasites to Combat Disease." It's designed to somehow use a modified parasite and a controller to destroy a disease. That's right, a controller. It's probably not an Xbox 360 controller or anything, but the thought of flying a parasite through someone's body and shooting away desease and viruses sounds kind of fun.
The application was published today, and is still awaiting approval from the patent office.
It's described as follows:
Provided are systems and/or methods that facilitate sensing, detecting, logging, or treatment of a condition or need of a living body using a controlled parasite.
A system that facilitates delivery of a fluid or biological material to a living body, comprising:an altered parasitic organism, wherein an alteration to the altered parasitic organism includes at least a termination function capable of receiving a termination signal and wherein the termination signal results in the death or reduced viability of the altered parasitic organism;an interface component that facilitates delivery of the termination signal and facilitates receipt of or delivery of data associated with the condition of the living body; andan operation component that analyzes received data associated with thecondition of the living body or provides data delivery to the altered parasitic organism.
Here's another drawing:
FIG. 4 illustrates a block diagram of an exemplary system that facilitates sensing, detecting, logging, or treatment of a condition of a living body using an engineered organism, a controller and data storage.