E-Learning Course on Bioinformatics of Animal Viruses

Nucleotide sequencing has become a very popular technique for diagnosis and characterization of pathogens and is accessible to most veterinary practices. A nucleotide sequence provides information on the nature of the pathogen, its source and its main characteristics such as strain, virulence and drug resistance. Bioinformatics provides tools to gather, store, and analyse these biological…
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African Swine Fever on the Move – China, the EU and FAO Assessing Preparedness in East and Southeast Asia, the Region with >50% of the World Pig Population

By M Djuric, DVM African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to spread in traditionally endemic sub-Saharan Africa, but it is also expanding into previously ASF-free countries with a new front opening up along the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.   The risk of ASF entering China is of particular concern since the country keeps almost half of the…
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Global Milk Production Increasing at Fast Pace

By Miroslav Djuric, Editor (Dairy Science Abstracts) Global milk production in 2012 is forecast to reach 760 million tonnes, according to a new report published in the Food Outlook by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). This would represent an annual increase of 3%, largely due to the increased production in Asia, Oceania…
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Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Targeted for Eradication

The FAO and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have developed a detailed strategy for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) control under the umbrella of their Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs). However, it is clear that only a massive commitment of national and international resources would make FMD eradication possible as surveillance and monitoring over a long period is required. FMD is a highly infectious disease caused by a picornavirus, which affects cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and deer. Other animals including camelids and elephants can also be affected. The disease is notifiable, which means that the local veterinary services must be notified immediately if FMD is suspected.Although FMD does not pose a direct threat to human health, and is rarely fatal in animals, it can cause reduced milk yield, weight loss and lower fertility. The global annual cost of FMD in…
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Recent developments in the world of biofuels

Opinions on the use of crops for biofuel and bioenergy continue to be polarized – are they a ‘good thing’ or not? When are they a ‘good thing’? Who benefits? How do you measure the impacts and their interactions at a local, national and international level on food security, land resources, water, greenhouse gas emissions,…
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…get out of the kitchen

One of the implications of all this energy we waste to swap coffee and wheat is that we’re giving climate change a helping hand. The contribution made by today’s food production systems to climate change globally will have tremendous impacts on the food it produces in the future. So this week, in a document much…
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Biodiversity – The more the merrier!

May 22nd is the International Day for Biological Diversity 2008. This year’s theme is ‘Biodiversity in Agriculture‘. According to the Convention on Biodiversity who are co-promoting the day’s festivities along with such luminaries of food and nutrition as the FAO, modern food production is responsible for both increasing and decreasing biodiversity. One of the things…
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