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Gene research aims to protect British bees
Bees are vital for crop pollination

Entire genetic profile of bees is analysed to interpret disease threat in colonies

The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh has conducted research on the UK’s native honey bees. The research included the analysis of the genetic make-up of microorganisms that live inside bees in order to gain understanding of emerging diseases.

Bees are vital for crop pollination and have been considered endangered in the UK.

Experts found that results from some Scottish hives were genetically similar to that of the UK’s native dark honey bee. These results are encouraging as it suggests that native bees are better at surviving in colder climates than southern European bees; even though the latter group have been imported to the UK for many years.

The results also discovered previously unseen microorganisms inside bees that could potentially have disease-causing properties. Infected hives may be at a greater risk of developing other illnesses. Researchers say that this knowledge could help to improve health monitoring in bee populations and in safeguarding against disease.

Dr Tim Regan, a University of Edinburgh postdoctoral research fellow, concluded: “We have created a platform that could revolutionise how we monitor threats to honey bees and maintain their health. The decreasing cost of DNA sequencing could potentially allow this type of analysis to become routine.”

Image (c) The Roslin Institute

 

 

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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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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.”