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New technology to reduce number of chickens used in research
"Discovering a way to easily freeze avian reproductive cells and subsequently bring back a genetically diverse flock will help the preservation of endangered breeds of poultry".
Surrogacy method to support the creation of a new chicken biobank.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are seeking to develop new technology that will limit the number of chickens used in research.

The approach involves freezing chicken reproductive cells and using sterile surrogates to hatch the required breeds. Researchers say this will ultimately support the formation of a new biobank, maintain genetic diversity and prevent problems with inbreeding.

The project is being conducted by researchers at The Roslin Institute and is being funded by the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

Dr Mike McGrew from the Roslin Institute said: “Discovering a way to easily freeze avian reproductive cells and subsequently bring back a genetically diverse flock will help the preservation of endangered breeds of poultry, increase food security from disease outbreaks and reduce the numbers of animals used in research.”

In the project, researchers aim to optimise how to freeze reproductive cells by studying three breeds of chicken currently used in research. They then hope to demonstrate that a single, surrogate chicken can lay eggs that come from many individual donor birds.

Scientists say this will validate the creation of biobanks for flocks of poultry for research purposes, which will limit the number of animals bred for use in this way. The novel method could also help to preserve rare chicken breeds.

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Tickets on sale for horse welfare conference

News Story 1
 Tickets are now on sale for the 'Welfare and Performance of the Ridden Horse' conference, due to take place at Nottingham University on Saturday, 11 December 2021.

World-renowned researchers, including Prof. Hilary Clayton and Dr Sue Dyson, will deliver the latest research updates. There will also be interactive Q&A sessions throughout the day, interactive polls and a fun evening of entertainment.

Organisers say that in the event of further coronavirus restrictions, day tickets will be transferred to livestream tickets. For more information about the conference and to book your place, click here.  

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News Shorts
SRUC to host virtual parasitology event for vet practices

Veterinary practices across the UK are being invited to an online CPD event hosted by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC). The event will include a 30-minute discussion on parasitology by Professor Neil Foster, head of the department of veterinary and animal science in SRUC's North Faculty.

The event takes place via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, 16 September (6-7 pm). Certificates of CPD attendance will be provided, and a questionnaire will be distributed following the event with ideas for future events and courses. Click here for more information and to book a place.