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Expertise to be shared in chicken embryo workshops

Hands-on training could help further understanding of animal and human development.

Chicken embryo seen in green under UV light
GFP chickens developed at Roslin and NARF are invaluable in the study of embryo development.

Experts from around the world are to share, learn and develop techniques applied to the developing chicken embryo in a series of workshops.

The practical sessions, to be held in 2022 and 2023, will focus on the use of chicken embryos to study development in other animals and humans.

They will provide hands-on training in techniques such as imaging, micro-surgery techniques and gene editing.

The first Edinburgh Gallus Genome and Embryonic Development (EGGED) workshop, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, will run on 12-15 July 2022 at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, where the Roslin Institute is based.

Specialist skills demonstrated at the workshops that could be of use to the scientific community will be made available online.

EGGED will be held in memory of Dr Donald Ede, a University of Edinburgh graduate, chicken embryologist and member of the RSE, who passed away in 2018.

Funding for the workshops has been awarded through a RSE’s Saltire Facilitation Network Award to the Roslin Institute, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and National Avian Research Facility (NARF), all based on Easter Bush Campus. EGGED is also supported by The Company of Biologists, including support towards making the meeting sustainable.

The Roslin Institute and NARF have developed chicken resources that are maintained nowhere else in the world, such as chickens with proteins that become visible when exposed to UV light, such as the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and Chameleon Chicken. These are invaluable in the study of embryo development.

The chicken is an excellent model to study vertebrate embryonic development – a process that in other animals is usually hidden inside the mother. Studies of embryonic development, using chicken embryos, are an excellent animal model and often lead to fundamental advances in our knowledge.

Dr Megan Davey, lead for EGGED, the Roslin Institute

** The Roslin Institute receives strategic investment funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and it is part of the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. **

Related links

EGGED 2022 information and registration of interest

Surrogate cockerels and hens produce donor breed chicks