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UN nuclear agency fights not just weapons but diseases of mass destruction

Scientists at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) research laboratories near Vienna are targeting malaria-transmitting mosquitoes with a radiation-based method called the “sterile insect technique” to stanch a disease that kills as many as 3,000 people each day in sub-Saharan Africa alone. “The IAEA multi-year project is designed to support national, regional and global efforts, including those of the World Health Organization (WHO), to combat the disease,” the Agency said in a news release spotlighting recent press reports on its role in the war on malaria, still among the world’s biggest health threats. Up to 500 million cases of malaria are clinically diagnosed each year. The “sterile insect technique” has a long track record against health-threatening insects, including the tsetse fly that transmits sleeping sickness.

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