The Onderstepoort Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort was formerly known as the Blood Typing Laboratory and changed to DNA typing in 2001. The laboratory is a service-driven and self-funding unit and is run on current and general business principles. It fulfils various roles including an academic support role for postgraduate students interested in applied veterinary genetics, research of genetic diseases in various animals and development of tests and protocols that can be applied in the service division.
The service division consists mainly of a DNA profiling and parentage testing component, forensic DNA testing in animals, testing of specific genetic diseases and traits in animals, genotyping for population analysis and some pathogen testing of equines via the laboratories association with the Equine Research Centre.
The Vision and Mission of the OPVGL:
To provide a DNA typing service that exceeds the requirements of the customer in terms of efficiency and quality, based on veterinary principles and considering the animal and its environment holistically.
To maintain an annual growth rate in terms of services rendered and technical competency that reflects the international developments in the field of veterinary genomic and diagnostic genetics.
To support and promote the welfare and wellbeing of animals by providing a forensic testing service and by research in the area of genetic disease, pathogen detection and population analysis.
To provide an environment in which staff and selected students can develop and use various skills to contribute to the overall objectives of the laboratory and promote the University of Pretoria locally and internationally in the field of applied veterinary genetics .
To contribute to the training of veterinarians in the rapidly expanding science of molecular genetics and provide an up-to-date DNA testing service to the Veterinary Faculty and practicing veterinarians.
First in-depth look at West Coast’s own Heaviside’s dolphins - 17/04/2014
All Heaviside’s dolphins found along southern Africa’s West Coast are related, and belong to one of two major populations. This is one of the findings of the first in-depth genetic study about this endemic dolphin species that is only found from Table Bay to southern Angola. The species may be sensitive to overharvesting by the hake fishing industry.
The world beyond 2015 – is higher education ready? - 17/04/2014
‘We are very good at communicating to a scholarly audience, but one of our challenges is how to transfer that information to a broader audience, in other words the general public. There is definitely room for us [universities] to do more of that.’ This was the response of Prof Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria (UP), to one of the questions posed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) as part of a new international campaign.
Record number of post-graduate degrees for UP’s Class of 2013 - 16/04/2014
The Autumn 2014 graduation figures for the University of Pretoria (UP) confirm that the institution which last year was ranked among the Top 500 universities globally by the prestigious QS World Ranking of Universities, is on track to deliver on its vision of being a leading research-intensive university. A record 4214 post-graduate degrees are being awarded across its nine faculties and business school.
Prof Tiaan de Jager gives an African perspective on environmental issues in Geneva - 15/04/2014
Prof Tiaan de Jager, Deputy Dean: Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Sustainable Malaria Control, is an expert on the effect of the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment in Africa. It was on account of this expertise that he was invited by the German Federal Government Environment Protection Agency and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to address them on the effect of pharmaceuticals on the environment in Africa.
Study asks for ban on 4x4s in protected areas - 15/04/2014
Soil damage caused by 4x4 vehicles is underestimated, long term – between 5 and 1000 years - and mostly irreversible. Due to their negative environmental impact, vehicles should not be allowed to do off-road driving in protected areas. Strict legal measures should be applied to regulate 4x4 use in such areas, while very sensitive areas such as wetland areas should be classified as absolute no-go areas.