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Case studies

The Institute submitted six impact case studies to the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise in 2014.

Bovine neonatal pancytopenia: a new disease of calves   

Neonatal bovine

Bovine Neonatal Pancytopenia (BNP), a newly recognised disease of calves, is caused by antibodies in the cow’s first- milk (colostrum) which damage the calf’s bone marrow when it suckles.

The harmful alloantibodies are induced in the cow after vaccination with a particular vaccine (Pregsure BVD).

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Dolly the Sheep - the first cloned adult animal 

Professor Wilmut with Dolly

In 1996, University of Edinburgh scientists celebrated the birth of Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned using adult somatic cells.

The Edinburgh team’s success followed its improvements to the single cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique used in the cloning process.

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GM chickens: Therapeutics production and disease resistance 

GM chicken

The chicken industry is worth £2 billion per annum in theUK alone.

Genetically Modification technology offers increased productivity, biosecurity and welfare as well as biotechnology applications in production of protein therapeutics. 

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Advising against Muesli-style diets for pet rabbits

Rabbit and muesli-fed rabbit

Despite the popularity of rabbits as companion animals, feeding trials to determine basic dietary requirements of pet rabbits have not been performed, resulting in variable dietary recommendations.

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Breeding salmon for resistance to infectious pancreatic necrosis 


The viral disease infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) has been a major constraint on salmon aquaculture. BBSRC-funded research demonstrated that host resistance is a heritable trait and that observed genetic differences are almost entirely due to variation in a single quantitative trait locus (QTL) of the salmon genome.

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Breeding a scrapie resistant international sheep flock 

Scrapie sheep

Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of sheep and goats. It is a disease of considerable economic consequence to the small ruminant farming industry.

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