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Scientists unravel golden eagle genome
Golden eagles are native to the remote moorlands and mountains of Scotland.
Study could aid recovery of endangered bird

Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute are conducting a study which could help golden eagles return to areas where they have disappeared.

According to a report by BBC News, researchers at the Institute are sequencing the genome of the golden eagle because of the value of its genetic information to conserve the birds.

The study forms part of a project titled '25 Genomes for 25 Years', which aims to sequence 25 novel genomes representing UK biodiversity.

Lead scientist Dr Rob Ogden from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute told BBC News that this “blueprint for life" would aid the management of the species.

"Having a whole genome for any species is a real game-changer," he said. "It opens up a huge amount of potential research - everything from looking at the health of the bird to the ecology, to how it reproduces - and so this is the beginning of a much bigger journey into golden eagle biology.

"In future, we want to be able to screen wild birds to select the best birds to move around."

Golden eagles are native to the remote moorlands and mountains of Scotland. Although they do not have any natural predators, research shows that humans are largely responsible for their decline.

In 2008, a study by Scottish Natural Heritage found a strong association between poisoning of golden eagles and land managed for driven grouse shooting. The study found that just three of 16 regions in western Scotland had stable or expanding golden eagle populations. 

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”