Sequence analysis of the Equine ACTN3 Gene in Australian horse breeds

The sarcomeric α-actinins, encoded by the genes ACTN2 and ACTN3, are major structural components of the Z-line and have high sequence similarity. α-Actinin-2 is present in all skeletal muscle fibres, while α-actinin-3 has developed specialized expression in only type 2 (fast, glycolytic) fibres. A common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the human ACTN3 gene (R577X) has . . . → Read More: Sequence analysis of the Equine ACTN3 Gene in Australian horse breeds

Microclimatic conditions and their effects on sheep behavior during a live export shipment from Australia to the Middle East

The microclimate can potentially impact the health and welfare of livestock exported by ship. Within-pen microclimatic conditions were recorded, and the effects of ammonia on sheep behaviour investigated on a voyage from Australia to the Middle East. Ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide, as well as wet-bulb, dry-bulb, and dew-point temperature and air speed, were mapped . . . → Read More: Microclimatic conditions and their effects on sheep behavior during a live export shipment from Australia to the Middle East

Ecovet: Lumpers and splitters

Have you ever wondered why the number of extant mammal species is so imprecise?

Consensus seems to have the number at around 4500, others say 4000 is about right while some would have the true total at somewhat more than 4500.

Why is it that after nearly 300 years of a binomial system that strives for exactness and order, just providing a total species count of such obvious animals is so hard? Continue reading Ecovet: Lumpers and splitters

Puggle in progress

Australian veterinarians, nurses and wildlife carers are adept at hand-rearing orphaned native mammals. Various species of possum, wallaby, kangaroo, bat and glider have been successfully reared and released into thewild.

Any carer will tell you that once the novelty wears off, hand rearing is hard work. Often requiring feeds spaced one to two hours apart, their tiny charges require plenty of dedication and sleep deprivation.

But as Top End veterinary nurses Caroline Francis and Tess Cooper discovered, that’s not quite the case when it comes to raising an orphaned short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus).

The echidna in question, nicknamed Makka Pakka after a character from the ABC’s In the Night Garden, was found in the pouch of his injured mother who was rushed to the Ark Animal Hospital in Palmerston, just out of Darwin. Initially Makka’s mother received veterinary care, but it became clear that she was not responding.

“She had suffered from trauma including major injuries to her digging toes and her condition was deteriorating,” Francis said. “She was losing weight drastically and she reached a stage where she just unfolded her pouch and wouldn’t or couldn’t let him back in.” Continue reading Puggle in progress