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New DNA test for glaucoma-causing mutation in border collies
“Our research has found that the mutation is only associated with glaucoma in border collies."
Scientists identify variant in the gene OLFML3 

The Animal Health Trust has launched a new DNA test for the genetic mutation that causes glaucoma in border collies.

Scientists from the Roslin Institute originally identified a variant in the gene OLFML3, which is associated with severe goniodysgenesis and glaucoma in this dog breed.

On reading the research, the Animal Health Trust’s genetics team genotyped a large cohort of border collies for the mutation, which allowed the team to obtain an accurate measure of the association between the mutation and goniodysgenesis and glaucoma. All dogs were also given an eye examination and had DNA collected.

The new test was developed and launched following this validation process, which replicated the findings from the Roslin Institute. Breeders will now be able to use the test to reduce the risk of producing puppies affected with glaucoma, which affects more than 1,000 dogs across the UK.

Dr Cathryn Mellersh, head of canine genetics at the Animal Health Trust, said: “We’re delighted to offer this test to border collie breeders and hope in time, through its use, we can lessen the prevalence of this disease in this lovely breed.
“Our research has found that the mutation is only associated with glaucoma in border collies, so we will publish our data at the earliest opportunity, in the hope that other commercial DNA testing providers will not be tempted to make the DNA test available to breeds other than the border collie.”

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.