Genome sequencing reveals cause of rare feline diseases

May 16, 2017

Results will inform breeding strategies US scientists have used genome sequencing to reveal the DNA abnormalities that cause genetic disease in cats. Working with 99 Lives – a cat genome sequencing initiative – researchers from the University of Missouri identified the genetic variants that cause blindness in the African black-footed cat and Niemann-Pick disease in domestic shorthairs. They hope that the findings, published in Scientific Reports and The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, will inform breeding strategies for rare and endangered species in captivity. “Genetics of the patient is a critical aspect of an individual’s health care for some diseases,” explained Leslie Lyons, a professor of comparative medicine at the University of Missouri. “Continued collaboration with geneticists and veterinarians could lead to the rapid discovery of undiagnosed genetic conditions in cats.” In the study, Dr Lyons and her team genetically sequenced the DNA of more than 50 cats, both with and without known genetic health problems. The aim was to identify DNA that leads to genetic disorders and gain a... ...

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New model for vector-borne disease

May 16, 2017

Model can distinguish between midge and animal movement A new model that can determine vectors for bluetongue and Schmallenberg virus has been developed by scientists at The Pirbright Insitute. Researchers hope the model could be applied to other diseases to help better inform control strategies. Writing in PLOS Computational Biology, researchers use the model to establish that 90 per cent of bluetongue transmission between farms is a result of midge dispersal, while for Schmallenberg it is 98 per cent. “Previous models used to study the 2007 bluetongue outbreak in the UK were able to show how the disease spread, but were not sophisticated enough to determine the primary route of transmission which is crucial in helping to bring an outbreak under control quickly,” explained Dr Simon Gubbins, group leader for transmission biology at the Institute. “Our new model is able to distinguish between disease that is spread through midge movement and through animal movement. For both viruses, we have shown that insect movements account for the majority of spread between... ...

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Scientists find positive correlation between bee health and presence of agriculture

May 9, 2017

Scientists have found that the overall health of bees improves in the presence of agricultural production. The study, “Agricultural Landscape and Pesticide Effects on Honey Bee Biological Traits” published in the Journal of Economic Entomology and by the University of Tennessee, evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated that hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food resources and produced fewer offspring. “We’re not saying that pesticides are not a factor in honeybee health. There were a few events during the season where insecticide applications caused the death of some foraging bees,” says Mohamed Alburaki, lead author and post-doctoral fellow with the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology (EPP). “However, our study suggests that the benefits of better nutrition sources and nectar yields found in agricultural areas outweigh the risks of exposure to agricultural pesticides.” Faster and larger The study... ...

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Project to assess how dogs can aid rehabilitation

May 9, 2017

Assistance dogs to help patients with spinal injuries A pioneering scheme that will see dogs used to aid the rehabilitation of patients with spinal injuries is set to launch at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. In a collaborative project between Buckingham Healthcare NHS Trust and the charity Dogs for Good, specially trained dogs will be used to help patients at the National Spine Injuries centre (NSIC). The treatment, known as Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI), is well-established in many countries but is less developed in the UK. Through a diverse array of tools, such as throwing a ball, grooming or tugging a toy, therapists at the centre hope that patients will regain better movement in their arms and increase in confidence. One patient set to benefit from the project is veterinary nurse Charlotte Simcock. In October 2016, Charlotte (26) suffered a spinal stroke which left her with limited movement from the chest down. “I have a dog at home who I am really missing while I am in hospital. I can’t wait to... ...

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Nutriad sponsor of 21st European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition

May 3, 2017

Nutriad is proud to be a Sponsor of the 21st European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN), which will be held from 8-11th May 2017 at Salou-Vila-Seca (Tarragona) in Spain. Over the years, the ESPN has become one of the most important events in the feed industry by focusing on the latest scientific research on poultry nutrition. More than 500 participants will be expected to attend, including scientists, opinion leaders, and representatives of the poultry industry. They will share their latest research findings and discuss ideas and concepts that are emerging in the poultry production sector. Nutriad’s Business Development Directors for the Digestive Performance range will present data from two recent studies. Daniel Ramírez MVZ will highlight the results of a program approach in broilers, combining the application of precision delivery coated butyrate (ADIMIX® Precision) in starter feed and a botanical additive (APEX®5) in the grower and finisher period.  His colleague Dr Tim Goossens will go deeper into the mechanisms that underlie the positive effects of ADIMIX® Precision in an in... ...

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Avian flu study offers new insights

May 2, 2017

Scientists analyse properties that enable some strains to infect humans How the most common type of avian influenza virus, H9N2, is able to infect humans has been identified by researchers at the Pirbright Institute. While considered less pathogenic than some forms of avian flu virus, H9N2 viruses still cause significant losses for the poultry industry in many countries – particularly Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh and Egypt the number of human infections of H9N2 has been on the rise. Although these infections have been mild, concerns increased when tests revealed its potential for human-to-human airborne transmission – a property normally associated with the potential to cause pandemic. In a study, published in Nature’s Emerging Microbes & Infections, researchers analysed the specific properties that enable some strains of H9N2 to adapt for successful human infection. They found that bird flu strains can infect humans when a mutation occurs that enables a preference for binding receptors that are ‘human-like’. The researchers also assessed how the... ...

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First veterinary monoclonal antibody receives EU approval

May 2, 2017

Cytopoint provides relief from atopic dermatitis The European Commission has granted marketing authorisation to Cytopoint – the first monoclonal antibody approved in the European Union for veterinary use. Cytopoint (lokivetmab) is used to treat the clinical signs associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs of any age weighing three kilograms or more. Manufactured by Zoetis, the antibody targets and neutralises canine interleukin-31 (cIL-31), a key protein involved in triggering itch in dogs. “We are honoured to be granted the first approval of a monoclonal antibody therapy for veterinary use by the European Commission,” said Dr Catherine Knupp, executive vice president and president, research and development at Zoetis. “As the first such therapy to provide relief from atopic dermatitis, we are once again using our science and focus on our customers’ most pressing challenges to find solutions for an area of unmet need in animal health.” Monoclonal antibodies are clones of antibodies that have been created in laboratories. They are already used in human medicine to locate blood clots, detect pregnancy and... ...

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Lamb born in plastic ‘womb’ could help save premature babies’ lives

May 2, 2017

New research on premature lambs grown in an artificial womb may one day change the outcomes for preterm birth humans. When premature babies are born at 23 weeks, their survival rate is just 15 per cent. At 24 weeks, that rises to 55 per cent. But the lambs are at risk of health problems during their life. But the new study, published in Nature Communications, has shown how lambs, and human babies, could get an extra four weeks in gestation – by way of a sealed sterile plastic bag filled with amniotic fluid, connected to a machine that functions like a placenta, providing nutrition and oxygen to the blood via the umbilical cord, whilst removing carbon dioxide. The breakthrough supported the development of a group of eight lambs, with the longest survivor now more than a year old. Several other lambs were taken for post mortems to study how they had developed physiologically. How it works To show the potential of their system, the team worked with five premature lambs... ...

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Burns Pet Nutrition supports youth in The Better Tomorrow Programme

Apr 24, 2017

A community initiative run by family company Burns Pet Nutrition has celebrated the culmination of its programme, which supports young people on their journey into the workplace, at a presentation designed to recognise and celebrate the achievements of its participants. Wales-based Burns Pet Nutrition, in conjunction with Pembrokeshire County Council Youth Service, works to provide experiences and opportunities for young people aged 18-25 via The Better Tomorrow Programme by The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation, a charitable arm of Burns Pet Nutrition, which helps people and animals throughout the UK. This is the second three-week programme run by The Burns Pet Nutrition Foundation, the first winning a Wales Youth Work Excellence Award for the Pembrokeshire Council Youth Service in 2016. The Better Tomorrow Programme offers young people a range of work placement opportunities and confidence building experiences. It allows individuals from diverse backgrounds to work across the company’s multiple departments for three weeks, enabling them to better grasp the working world and all it entails. As a result, the groups of... ...

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New Macrowave™ CeleroTherm Pasteurization Systems launched by Radio Frequency Company (RFC), Millis, MA USA

Apr 19, 2017

  Radio Frequency (RF) Pasteurization of food products was introduced by RFC in the 1960s and has since then grown into one of the preferred methods for the pasteurization of dry food ingredients, spices and protein supplements, including both animal and plant protein powders.  Radio Frequency heating provides the advantage of rapid and volumetric heating which increases log reductions and reduces the possibility of heat degradation of the product.  RF has the ability to rapidly and uniformly heat bags or deep bed depths of bulk material conveyed on a troughed belt. For temperature sensitive materials where the maximum allowable temperature requires a “hold-time” according to tradition thermal death time curves, insulated holding measures, ancillary to the RF heating system, were once required to achieve the necessary microbial reductions.  Until now. Introducing the New Macrowave™ CeleroTherm systems from RFC. These new pasteurization systems feature a hybridized layout where in the first zone, a radio frequency heating system, provides the rapid and uniform heating of the material, immediately followed by an integrated... ...

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