UN Nuclear Agency Chief visits NIAB, inaugurates ZODIAC Lab

FAISALABAD: Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general (DG) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), inaugurated Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) Laboratory at the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) Faisalabad, here on Thursday.
Learning from Covid-19 pandemic, ZODIAC initiative was launched by the IAEA in June 2020 to help countries prevent pandemics caused by bacteria, parasites, fungi or viruses that originate in animals and could be transmitted to humans.
Using a systematic and integrated approach, ZODIAC would strengthen the preparedness and capabilities of IAEA Member States to detect and timely respond to outbreaks of such diseases.
During his visit to Nuclear Institute for Agriculture & Biology (NIAB), one of the four agriculture research centres established by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), the DG IAEA announced designating NIAB as ‘IAEA Collaborating Centre’ for capacity building in agricultural research.
He also received briefing on the institutes’ working to develop new strains of cotton, wheat, rice and other crops. Together these agriculture research centres of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) have so far successfully produced 132 high-yield, pest-tolerant and climate-resilient crop varieties. –Agencies