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New DNA tests to help prevent blindness in border collies
"We hope our research will help to reduce the number of dogs that go blind from this disease.”
Genetic mutation found to be responsible for severe gonio 

Scientists have discovered a mutation in the OLFML3 gene which causes sudden blindness in border collies.

The findings have resulted in several companies developing genetic tests for the condition, called goniodysgenesis - or gonio - to avoid affected dogs being used to produce puppies.

In severe gonio, the affected dog’s eyes do not develop properly, which can cause glaucoma, leading to sudden loss of sight. Sudden blindness in border collies was first seen in Australia in the late 90s, then in the UK in relatives of the original dogs. Breeders suspected there may be a genetic cause.

Researchers from the Roslin Institute collected DNA from dog saliva samples and compared those with healthy eyes, to those with symptoms of severe gonio. They found a genetic mutation in OLFML3, which is involved in the early stages of eyeball development.

All dogs who suffered blindness had two copies of the mutation gene. The research paper has been published in the journal G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

Dr Carys Pugh, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted that our findings have directly led to a genetic test for this condition. We hope our research will help to reduce the number of dogs that go blind from this disease.”

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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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News Shorts
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.