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ONLINE - The Power of Genomics

  • September 24, 2020
  • 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Online, C2ST
The Power of Genomics: Optimizing Health Outcomes & Wildlife Conservation

Production of domestic animals by humans represents one of the greatest challenges to wildlife conservation globally. Historically, livestock ranching and biodiversity conservation have been considered conflicting uses of African savannas because wildlife and livestock compete for grazing resources and exchange pathogens and parasites. However, recent research demonstrates potential positive interactions between wildlife and livestock from a savanna ecosystem in central Kenya, including through the control of an extremely abundant group of ectoparasites, ticks, and associated pathogens that afflict human, domestic animal, and wildlife health.

Here, Dr. Brian Allan will describe his research using genomic tools to reveal previously unknown patterns in the prevalence and transmission of tick-borne pathogens. His research in a region of Kenya where livestock and wildlife overlap demonstrates that cattle dramatically reduce the abundance of ticks and the spread of tick-borne pathogens. Cattle reduce tick abundance apparently because of the widespread use of tick-specific pesticides for livestock production. As a result, treated livestock remove ticks from the landscapes in which they graze, thus functioning as “ecological traps” for ticks. This finding, in combination with other recent research, indicates that integrated management of livestock and wildlife has the potential to simultaneously optimize human and animal health and wildlife conservation.

For more details and registration for this free event by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology , please click here

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The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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