Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Deep-diving seals protected by anti-inflammatory serum
Elephant seals can dive as far as 1,550m beneath the surface of the ocean.

Researchers examine protective strategies of weddell and elephant seals
Deep-diving seals which rely on lung collapse to prevent damage and limit nitrogen absorption are protected by an anti-inflammatory serum, according to new research.

Researchers hope their finding could protect deep sea divers from long-term lung damage and aid with the healing process.

Published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the study looked at how weddell and elephant seals protect their lungs when they perform a deep dive.

Researchers from various US institutions, including Harvard Medical School and the University of Connecticut, examined the inflammatory response of seal blood and human blood exposed to the bacterial toxin lipopolysaccharide.

They found that the toxin triggered hardly any inflammatory response in the seal blood. In the human blood, however, inflammation was 50 to 500 times greater. When the researchers added serum extracted from seal blood to mouse immune cells, the serum decreased the immune response.

“These data suggest that seal serum possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may protect deep divers from naturally occurring inflammatory challenges, such as dive-induced hypoxia-deoxygenation and lung collapse," the researchers note.

Weddell and elephant seals are impressive divers. Elephant seals can go as far as 1,550m beneath the surface of the ocean, whilst weddell seals can dive to around 600m and spend as long as 82 minutes.

The team would now like to identify the protective compounds in the hope that one day they could extend the life of transplanted organs and help treat lung damage. 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

New online dental resource for vets and horse owners

News Story 1
 The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has launched a new online dental resource for vets and horse owners.

The veterinary section of the resource is aimed at primary practice equine vets who are performing dentals for clients as part of a routine care programme. Information includes 'how to perform a thorough oral exam,' guidelines for charting, and a list of BEVA equine vets with postgraduate qualifications in equine dentistry.

Free to BEVA members, the new resource is supported by a range of practical courses, veterinary CPD, workshops and webinars. To find out more visit the BEVA website 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Vet school runs event for aspiring vets and nurses

Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what itís like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018