Bill Gates, 5 scientists win Lasker medical prizes

MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer
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Microsoft Corp. founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, right, and his wife Melinda Gates attend to a child as they meet with members of the Mushar community at Jamsot Village near Patna, India, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Aftab Alam Siddiqui, File)

Microsoft Corp. founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, right, and his wife Melinda Gates attend to a child as they meet with members of the Mushar community at Jamsot Village near Patna, India, March 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Aftab Alam Siddiqui, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, as well as five researchers, have won prestigious Lasker Awards for their contributions to medicine.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced the recipients of the $250,000 prizes on Monday.

The Gateses were honored for their work on health problems around the world. The foundation said they have improved the lives of millions of impoverished people, through leadership and donations of more than $26 billion.

The other Lasker awards went to a pair of scientists who discovered details of how brain cells communicate, and three researchers who developed the modern cochlear implant, a device that lets deaf people hear.

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