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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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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

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News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.