DEFRA's Chief Scientific Advisor meets with scientists at the Royal Society to discuss future strategies in controlling bovine TB. Ian Boyd has called together sixty leading experts in bovine TB with the aim of developing new strategies in controlling the disease. He speaks to Quentin Cooper from the meeting. Also on the programme Christl Donnelly, Professor of Statistical Epidemiology at Imperial College London, and James Wood Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science at Cambridge, both of whom were at the meeting.
The rediscovery of a mystery animal in the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery's underground storeroom proves that a non-native 'big cat' prowled the British countryside at the turn of the last century. When the skeleton of the animal was compared to the mounted skin, researchers realised that the description in the records was wrong and that it was in fact a Canadian lynx. The researchers studied the teeth of the lynx and looked at strontium isotopes in the bones to find out where it lived. Dr Ross Barnett, from the University of Durham and the Natural History Museum of Denmark at the University of Copenhagen, tells us more.
Shark teeth found at the bottom of aquariums are being used by scientists at Birmingham University to find out about biological diversity in ancient seas. Ultimately the work could help predict what will happen to life in the currently warming seas. Sharks lose teeth regularly and researchers think that clues to marine biological diversity over millions of years may be locked up in sharks' teeth. Studying oxygen isotopes, which are incorporated into sharks' teeth as they develop, can reveal the temperature of the seawater the shark lived in at the time. Dr. Ivan Sansom, a Palaeobiologist, is leading the project.