Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes at Conference

Thursday, Feb 5, 2009  |  Updated 12:49 AM EDT
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Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes at Conference

AFP/Getty Images

Bill Gates has morphed into one of the world's leading philanthropists. Wednesday he played a little joke in order to raise awareness for one of his causes.

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - "Bill Gates just released mosquitos into the audience at TED and said, 'Not only poor people should experience this.'"

That was the post by Facebook's Senior Platform Manager Dave Morin on social networking site Twitter. The event took place at the TED2009 (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference on Wednesday in California, where Microsoft chairman Bill Gates was delivering a presentation about malaria education and eradication.

The mosquito incident was confirmed by the media office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which also noted that the insects released were not carrying malaria.

The philanthropist has been pushing to reduce malaria deaths through the nonprofit. In September, Gates announced that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would provide $168.7 million to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to help develop a vaccine for the deadly disease.

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