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Bird genes reveal impact of city living
(he scientists examined the genome of 192 great tits from nine European cities.
Researchers assess the impact of urbanisation on great tits

A new study conducted in collaboration with the University of Glasgow has found that birds living in cities are genetically different to those living in the countryside.

The research, published in Nature Communications, found clear genetic differences between great tits in urban areas and great tits in rural areas. The study is the largest of its kind to see how urban environments affect the genome.

In the study, scientists examined the genome of 192 great tits from nine European cities and found that, in order to handle their environment, the birds all evolved in a similar way. 

Their research shows that, in city birds, different genes linked to vital biological functions regulated by serotonin – such as aggression and circadian rhythms - are selected and passed down the generations. Conversely, in rural birds, the genes that control these same functions do not confer the same biological advantage. 

Caroline Isaksson, a senior lecturer at Lund University, which led the study, said: “This indicates that these behaviours, and cognition, are very important in order to live in urban environments with a lot of stress in the form of noise pollution, light at night, air pollution and constant proximity to people.”

Dr Pablo Salmón, from the University of Glasgow, added: “It is surprising that cities, which from an evolutionary perspective are a recent phenomenon, are already leaving their footprint in the genome of birds.”

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VetCT app offered to students and new graduates

News Story 1
 The VetCT app is being offered for free to students and new veterinary graduates for their first three months in practice. The app provides a service for vets to send case information to a global team of Diploma-holding specialists, who can provide advice and support via instant call-back, text chat, written report, or virtual appointment.

Time on the app is automatically logged as CPD with quarterly certificates being generated for users. Additional services include the ability to book bespoke CPD, significant event reviews, and live training sessions such as surgical procedures.

The app is downloadable for both iOS and Android systems. 

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HORIBA to host CPD webinar

HORIBA has announced that it will host an online CPD meeting focusing on 'Exotic Parasites - The Importance of Testing in The Imported Dog'. Ian Wright (BVMS, MSc, MRCVS), head of ESCCAP UK and Ireland, will present on the importance of testing protocols in diseases of imported dogs.

The meeting will provide attendees with an overview of emerging veterinary diseases with a particular focus on exotic parasites, and discuss the importance of accurate testing protocols and equipment, alongside a final Q&A session.

The webinar will take place on Thursday July 1, from 19.30pm to 21.00pm BST. For free registration and more information visit the Horiba website or register.gotowebinar.com