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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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ISFM announces first veterinary nurse conference

News Story 1
 The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) - the veterinary division of International Cat Care - has announced its first annual conference dedicated to veterinary nurses. The day offers an opportunity to meet up with colleagues and enjoy more than five hours of stimulating CPD.

The conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Saturday 15 September 2018. Tickets are £95 per person and include lunch, coffee breaks, downloadable proceedings and CPD certificate. For details and to book your place visit  

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News Shorts
WSAVA awards Australian vet with 'Next Generation’ award

Australian vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe has been crowned winner of the WSAVA ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award recognises those who graduated within the last 10 years and have made a significant contribution to the welfare of companion animals and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Besides maintaining a small animal caseload, Dr Weerasinghe works for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture where he is involved with animal disease surveillance and increasing the public health risks in veterinary practice. He also collaborates on various One Health projects across Australia and gives regular talks on the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

Dr Weerasinghe will receive his award at the WSAVA World Congress 2018 (25-28 September).