Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Theory of Relative-ity

I was looking up Avian Pathology News at my Alma Mater (UC Davis) when I ran across an article on a researcher, Dr. Nathaniel Tablante. It's amazing to find someone with the same last name as me, who may be a distant relative, who is also an alumni of UC Davis and who is also in the same field as me. I took up courses in Poultry and Raptors at UC Davis while doing my undergrad studies in Microbiology. There was a study I did in college on feather barbules and hooklets degradation. Those structures are really tough and lasts forever, just like human hair but stronger. Raptors amaze me so much that I enjoy visiting the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA every now and then to support wildlife rescue and to learn more. Most of the rescued animals are disabled but everyone can still see that they still have that fierceful spirit and strength.

The article on Dr. Tablante and Avian Flu caught my attention since Avian Flu remains an on-going global concern in Public Health. Being in Public Health myself, I admire and thank people who make contributions in protecting the public from what we eat- one of them being our feathery friends, the chickens.

The article on Dr. Nathaniel Tablante states that he is an associate professor, extension specialist, and Director of the Veterinary Medical Sciences Graduate Program on the VMRCVM's College Park campus, has recently been awarded the Bruce W. Calnek Applied Poultry Research Achievement Award. He was given an award by the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) for being a researcher whose outstanding professional contributions have resulted in a measurable impact on the control of important poultry diseases. Dr. Tablante was honored for the pioneering work he and his colleagues are doing in the development of an in-house composting method that is used to control the spread of infectious materials during disease outbreaks in broiler flocks. This work is especially important during an era when infectious diseases, like Avian Influenza, present such a threat to international health and well-being.

This innovative method was initially utilized during an Avian Influenza outbreak that occurred on the Delmarva Peninsula in 2004. Utilizing the in-house composting method developed by Tablante and his colleagues, the outbreak was contained to only three farms. Had it been necessary to transport the birds to landfills or other mass disposal facilities, the chance of further spread of the disease would have been significantly increased, according to Tablante.

Dr. Tablante is currently collaborating with George "Bud" Malone of the University of Delaware on a "National Training Program on Mass Euthanasia and Disposal Procedures for Catastrophic Poultry Disease Events," which combines Tablante's in-house composting procedure with an innovative depopulation method that Malone has developed. The program is designed to prepare the poultry industry, government officials, and extension agents to respond quickly and efficiently in cases of catastrophic disease or disaster. All of this is made possible by a three-year, five-million dollar education and outreach grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) secured by the University of Maryland.

Since May 2005, there have been over 30 training sessions nationwide and over 1800 poultry production personnel and federal and state emergency responders have participated in the training. In addition, Dr. Tablante has recently secured another USDA grant that will enable the researchers to expand the scope of the training module.

Dr. Tablante earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 1976 from the University of the Philippines. He received his first master's degree from the University of California-Davis in 1985 and his second master's degree from the University of Guelph in 1995. He is also a Diplomate of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and has been with VMRCVM since 1997.

Another Tablante I found on the web is this amazing gallery from different places in the Philippines and beautiful models. Check out www.jaytablante.com or http://ver9.swirlcentral.com.

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