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Student honoured for Mycobacterium bovis study
University of Nottingham student wins award

A student at the University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science has been awarded the MSD Animal Health Connect Bursary Award 2011 for his research project titled 'Detection of Mycobacterium bovis in UK sheep at slaughter using quantitative PCR.”

Derrick Fall, a fourth year student, studied samples taken from the lung-associated lymph nodes of ewes from three geographical locations. He sought to confirm if bovine TB could be detected using molecular analysis methods, and successfully demonstrated that amplification methods were accurate and sensitive enough to detect Mycobacterium bovis DNA in a range of positive samples.

Mr Fall was one of several students to receive the sum of £1000 towards their research projects. However, he was selected as the overall winner by a panel of judges from MSD Animal Health, and therefore received another £1000 and a trophy.

“I offer my warmest congratulations to Derrick and to all of the students who took part,” said MSD Research and Development Director Mike Francis. “Once again the judging panel was impressed by the quality and depth on information that each project delivered and by the level of technical competence and knowledge that each student demonstrated. By using a novel method of investigation, Derrick's project came to an interesting conclusion.”

MSD Animal Health Connect Bursaries were founded with the intention of providing students with the opportunity to undertake their own research projects. A secondary effect is to foster closer working relationships between the veterinary universities and industry.

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Zoo calls for volunteers in its hour of need

News Story 1
 As ZSL London Zoo begins to get back on its feet, the organisation is putting out a call for volunteers who have time to help out. It comes after three months of unprecedented closure, which has seen zoos across the UK come under enormous financial pressure.

Volunteers will be required to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around. Volunteer manager Rhiannon Green said: "We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.

For more information, visit zsl.org. Posts are available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. 

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News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."