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Bill Gates Sics Mosquitoes On Conference Attendees

Bill Gates recently gave TED conference attendees a fright by unleashing a cloud of mosquitoes into the audience during a speech about the Gates Foundation's malaria eradication efforts.

But Gates' intention wasn't to give jokers an opportunity to make 'bug'-related puns, but rather, to demonstrate that people need to be more aware about the wide-reaching impacts of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

"I brought some mosquitoes -- we'll let them roam around the auditorium. There's no reason only the poor should experience this," Gates reportedly told shocked TED attendees. Gates then informed attendees that the mosquitoes didn't carry malaria.

Gates, who now spends most of his time running The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda, has made fighting malaria in developing countries one of the main thrusts of the organization's philanthropy efforts.

While mosquito nets and other mitigation techniques are important, a meaningful and lasting solution to malaria will require a combination of government funding for distribution of bednets and home spraying, and research by social scientists to figure out which tactics work best, Gates told attendees.

Gates, flashing his trademark wry sense of humor, also highlighted the vastly different priorities countries have when it comes to medical research and development.

"There is more money put into baldness drugs than into malaria," Gates told attendees, according to an AFP report. "Now, baldness is a terrible thing and rich men are afflicted. That is why that priority has been set."

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