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New videos: microbes in food, the veterinary profession and vitamin D

Videos of the inaugural lectures of Elspeth Milne and Mark Stevens as well as Richard Mellanby’s lecture on Vitamin D are now online.

Confronting the microbial menace in our food

Farmed animals are vital to global food security but can transmit harmful microbes to humans through the food chain. Among these are bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli that cause gastroenteritis in people. Worldwide, these three agents cause an estimated 174 million cases of foodborne illness every year at a high recurring cost to society and the economy. In some instances, such microbes can also cause disease in their farm animal hosts to the detriment of productivity and welfare.

In his inaugural lecture, Professor Mark Stevens described his research to identify bacterial and host factors that contribute to the ability of foodborne pathogens to persist in farm animals and cause disease, and how this can inform the design of control strategies.

From cells to Clydesdales: a romp around the veterinary profession

A veterinary degree is a passport to endless opportunities including clinical work, education, diagnostic investigation and research. Professor Milne’s career has combined these areas, with the ultimate aim of improving disease diagnosis and developing clinical pathology internationally.

In her inaugural lecture Professor Milne discussed her work and her vision of taking diagnostic investigation at Easter Bush to the next level.

Vitamin D: hope or hype?

Interest in vitamin D has rapidly grown in recent years with numerous studies linking a lack of vitamin D to the development of a wide range of human conditions, from multiple sclerosis to cancer and hypertension. However, many researchers remain sceptical about the non-skeletal health benefits of vitamin D and believe the growing reputation of vitamin D as a panacea for many diseases is wildly over-stated.

In this public lecture, Professor Richard Mellanby and Iris Mair from MRC Centre for Inflammation Research explained how studies on dogs were pivotal in the discovery of vitamin D and how research on man’s best friend continues to illuminate the ongoing debate of the importance of vitamin D on health beyond the skeleton. Hear about new research from the Vitamin D Animal Laboratory (VitDAL) which is showing the remarkable effects vitamin D can have on shaping the immune system.