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Researchers create inside-out 'mini guts' to aid poultry research
The mini-guts are the first of their kind to naturally include cells from the immune system.

3D model will support studies into poultry health and disease.

Scientists from the Roslin Institute have developed inside-out miniature intestines, also known as enteroids, grown from stem cells, in order to improve research into poultry health and disease.

The development of the mini-guts follows a decade of research into organoids. The research team hopes that their creation will advance studies into common infections that affect birds around the world, and allow better understanding of the immune response to disease in chickens.

This creation will also reduce the number of animals used in research.

The mini-guts are the first of their kind to naturally include cells from the immune system and have been created with the internal gut surface on their exterior. This accessible surface enables researchers to easily expose the tissue to disease-causing organisms, feed additives, vaccines and drugs and then to monitor the effects.

Organoid development typically takes place inside a protein-rich gel dome, surrounded by growth factor-supplemented liquid cell culture. These conditions allow stem cells to follow their own genetic instructions  and form structures that resemble miniature intestines.

According to the Roslin Institute, the growth conditions in this case enabled a reverse of the usual structure, with the enteroids growing inside-out.

Tessa Nash of the Roslin Institute said: “Studies into the gastrointestinal systems of birds have long been hampered by a lack of cell culture tools. But with the development of these novel mini-guts we can now study diseases that are of importance to the poultry industry, including zoonotic infections such as Salmonella and flu.”

Professor Lonneke Vervelde of the Roslin Institute said: “Inside-out organoids will support studies to develop our understanding of how gut tissue in chickens responds to for example disease, feed additives, nutrition and heat stress, saving time and reducing the number of animals needed for this process.”

Further information on the creation of the enteroids can be found in Communications Biology volume 4.​​

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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.