Gates unleashes skeeters at technology conference

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Bill Gates is responsible for a host of bugs at a California high tech conference.

To emphasize a point about malaria prevention, the Microsoft co-founder opened a jar of mosquitoes on stage and let the swarm mingle with audience members.

The billionaire says "There's no reason only poor people should have the experience."

Gates assured the crowd at the TED conference in Long Beach that none of the bugs carry malaria.

He says fighting the disease must be a higher priority, noting there's more money spent on baldness drugs than fighting malaria.

Gates says The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $1.4 billion to fight malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that kills more than 1 million people a year, mostly in Africa.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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