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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. 

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Registrations open for overseas veterinary professionals course

News Story 1
 Registrations are now open for the RCVS CPD course for overseas veterinary professionals, which covers an introduction to the UK veterinary professions.

The course is aimed at overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses during their first two years of working in the UK, in addition to those considering working here. It provides graduates with the key information and skills required to practice in the UK, as well as helping them understand their legal duties as veterinary professionals.

For more information and to book your place please click here. The course will be held at Belgravia House, London, on Wednesday 12 June.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BVA launches award to celebrate young vets

A new award has been launched to celebrate inspirational young vets who are making a difference in their day to day work.

Nominations are now open for the BVA Young Vet of the Year Award, which is the first of its kind. It is open to all vets registered with the RCVS in the first eight years of their careers, working in any veterinary sphere, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics. Organisers are looking for an ‘exceptional young vet’ whose work has benefitted the veterinary community or the workplace.

The awards are open for self-entry and nominations by 1 August 2019. The winner will be announced at London Vet Show on 14 November 2019, where a £1000 cash prize will be awarded, alongside a ‘career enhancing experience’ with Zoetis.