However, enough diclofenac remains to cause appreciable mortality (more than 10%) if birds were to take a large meal from the carcass of an animal that was given its last dose of the drug within a few days of death."
Dr Green and colleagues from the RSPB, University of Aberdeen, Bombay Natural History Society and the Zoological Society of London reported concentrations of diclofenac in tissues of treated Indian and European cattle. They found that the concentration of the drug is lower in muscle than in fat or internal organs, but declines more slowly in muscle with time since treatment (the half life of diclofenac in fat, intestine, liver and kidney is six to eight hours, compared with 15 hours in muscle).
This is the first detailed study of the exposure of vultures to diclofenac and the risk of death posed by each exposure. By improving the accuracy of the model of the relationship between diclofenac in cattle carcasses and vulture mortality, these new data will help conservationists trying to save the vultures from extinction.
According to Green: "This new information will help us to assess the danger to remaining vulture populations in Asia by using residues of diclofenac measured in field surveys of cattle and buffalo carcasses. Better means of interpreting such surveys will be essential for monitoring the effectiveness of future action taken to remove diclofenac from the food supply of vultures, such as recent government measures to restrict veterinary use of diclofenac and encourage its replacement by meloxicam."
The governments of India and Nepal have both recently placed legal restrictions on veterinary diclofenac. From 12 August 2006 the production and importation of veterinary diclofenac is no longer permitted in India, and Nepal has also recently deregistered diclofenac, preventing the manufacture or import of the drug. Both countries are promoting the use of meloxicam as a safe alternative to diclofenac.
Populations of three species of South Asian vulture - the white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), the long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and the slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) have declined rapidly within the last decade and all are now critically endangered. Diclofenac causes fatal kidney failure in vultures and residues of the drug have been found in most carcasses of wild vultures tested since the population decline began. “Diclofenac poisoning is the main, and possibly the only, cause of the vulture decline,” Green says.
Becky Allen | alfa
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy