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ZSL partners with living biobank to save endangered wildlife
Nature’s SAFE has already successfully stored live cells from multiple endangered species through its partnerships.

The bank stores the living genetics of some of the planet's most threatened species.

ZSL London Zoo has announced a partnership with Nature's Safe, one of Europe's first Living Biobanks, to preserve the live genetics of some of the planet's most endangered species.

Through the partnership, ZSL will provide samples from post-mortems carried out at ZSL's London and Whipsnade conservation zoos.

From southern white rhinos to critically-endangered mountain chicken frogs, the samples will be sent to Nature's SAFE dedicated laboratory in Shropshire, where they will be processed and stored in a living state at -196°C.

Once thawed, the cells could one day be used in cell culture or assisted reproductive technologies to continue the existence of threatened species and maintain genetic diversity within the gene pool. 

ZSL senior vet, Dr Taina Strike, commented: “With so many animals at risk of extinction, outside-of-the-box thinking and collaboration is vital for the preservation of threatened species. For almost 200 years, international conservation charity ZSL has been at the forefront of wildlife science and conservation and we'll continue to explore all avenues to keep one step ahead of the threats facing animals across the world.”

Nature’s SAFE has already successfully stored live cells from multiple endangered species through its partnerships, including the black rhino, Asian elephant, eastern bongo and Javan green magpie.

Professor Suzannah Williams, chief scientist at Nature’s SAFE and founder of the Rhino Fertility Project at Oxford University, said: “Nature’s SAFE is acting now to preserve species before they are lost using both established methodologies and exploring the most promising innovations in assisted reproductive technologies; our partnerships are critical to achieving impact now and, in the future.

"It’s thanks to passionate organisations such as ZSL, that we can continue to develop innovative strategies to protect the incredible species on our planet.”

Image (C) ZSL London Zoo.

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Laura Muir wins gold at Commonwealth Games

News Story 1
 Veterinary surgeon and Olympic silver-medalist Laura Muir scooped the gold medal in the 1500m final Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

Winning Scotland's 12th title of the games, Muir finished in four minutes 2.75 seconds, collecting her second medal in 24 hours.

Dr Muir commented on her win: "I just thought my strength is in my kick and I just tried to trust it and hope nobody would catch me. I ran as hard as I could to the line.

"It is so nice to come here and not just get one medal but two and in such a competitive field. Those girls are fast. It means a lot." 

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Views sought on NOAH Compendium

Users of the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium app and website are being asked to share their views on how it can be improved.

In a new survey, users are asked about some suggested future developments, such as notifications for new and updated datasheets, sharing links to datasheets, and enhanced search functionality.

It comes after NOAH ceased publication of the NOAH Compendium book as part of its sustainability and environmental commitments. The website and the app will now be the main routes to access datasheets and view any changes.