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Home / Health / Here's what Bill Gates learned at work in 2018 – Quartz

Here's what Bill Gates learned at work in 2018 – Quartz



At the end of every year, Bill Gates questions himself.

Over the years Gates's questions have drastically changed, it's part of a long-standing tradition, one in a just-released year-end letter. In his 20s, it really is: Is Microsoft software making the personal computing dream come true?

Now 63, he is steering toward philanthropy to meet ambitious health and development goals, rather than focusing on software The foundation has done every year. Broader life questions are cropping up, too, he writes. Did I devote sufficient time to my family? Did I learn enough new things? Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones ?, "he wonders. There's a bonus question, courtesy of Warren Buffett: "Do the people you care about love you back?"

"These would have been laughable to me when I was 25, but as I get older, they are much more meaningful Gates writes.

Gates believes-there's global transition in the way we think about well-being. "For most of human history, we have been focused on living longer by fighting disease and trying to grow enough food for everyone," he writes. Now that life spans have been drastically improved, the focus is on improving the quality of life.

Advances in Alzheimer's research

Here's what Gates says: "Gates predicts."

Advances in Alzheimer's research ] Researchers have focused on a new set of theories about Alzheimer's disease in 2018. One theory suggests brain cells break down because their energy producers are overactivated and attacked. "This is a great example of how to improve our understanding of biology to reduce both medical costs and human suffering," Gates writes. Another positive trend in 2018 is that researchers are getting more and better access to data on Alzheimer's sufferers.

Recruiting patients for clinical trials remains a key obstacle, though.

Eradicating Polio Remains Elusive

Alzheimer's, Gates writes, "It is not enough to diagnose a person who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease."

19659008] "I thought we would be closer to eradicating polio today than we are," Gates writes. "In 2018, the number of cases of wild poliovirus increased to almost 30, all of which were in Afghanistan and Pakistan (the only two countries that have never been free of polio.)

But there are advances. New innovation has made it possible to test sewage samples to track the virus and find the source before an outbreak starts. And there are new ways to work in war zones, evidenced by outbreaks in Syria and Somalia. Finally, "Gates is hopeful of a new oral vaccine that is being tested in Belgium and Panama that could be in use as soon as 2020." Despite all the challenges, I still optimistic that we can eradicate polio soon, "he writes. [19659007] Reviving nuclear energy

Global emissions of greenhouse gases increased again in 2018. Gates does not believe in solar and wind energy are enough, nor that batteries will be enough if the sun isn 't shining or the wind blowing. Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a clean-energy investment fund, is a resource for tackling climate change, Gates says he will spend 2019 urging the US to regain his leading role in nuclear power research. "Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it's the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that's available 24 hours a day," he writes. Plan to build a pilot project in China for TerraPower, a Gates-backed company founded 10 years ago that says it uses safer reactors, has been hampered by changes in US policy.

Failure to prevent the next epidemic

2018 marked the 100-year anniversary of the Spanish flu that killed more than 50 million people, but it did not spark the discussion about the disease that gates hoped. We are not prepared for another epidemic, he writes. "If anything is going to kill tens of millions of people in a short time, it will probably be a global epidemic," he warns.

Today the river would kill nearly 33 million people in just six months, writes

This year's little progress was made on epidemic preparedness, including governments working together on quarantines, medicinal supply chains, or military use. However, there is scientific progress on a vaccine that would protect people from every strain of the river, Gates writes. This would be very effective.

A group of Chinese scientists said in November they had helped to create two genetically-edited babies. Their announcement was condemned by other physicians and scientists, who said they had done the same thing. As Chinese scientists explained in a letter denouncing the experiment, "seek irreversible alterations on human genes inevitably goes into the human gene pool."

Gates thus criticizes the scientists, but argues there could be a positive side effect of their experiment: more people talking and learning about gene editing. This topic should be part of a great public debate, like artificial intelligence, he writes. For those who want a deep dive, Gates recommends The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Gates has recommended since January 2010.)

Gates's 2019 resolution

"I am coming to terms with the potential to make an impact on the quality of our lives, but also on ethical and social considerations, "he writes. They are the "balance between privacy and innovation," and "the use of technology in education."


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