Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Information

Q: What equipment and materials are needed to establish a laboratory for RIA? [pdf]
Q: How can nuclear technologies help improving livestock productivity?
  Nuclear technologies are used in many areas of livestock research and production. For example, we use isotopic tracer techniques to measure the nutritive value of feedstuff, to determine the nutrient intake or energy balance of animals, and to study the metabolism of nutrients in the animal body. The output of research helps us to formulate balanced diets to achieve efficient growth and production. Isotopic methods are also used to monitor reproductive status, leading to better breeding management. Moreover, nuclear techniques are also used in livestock disease diagnosis.

Some examples of isotopic techniques are:
- stable- (15N) and radio-isotope (35S or 32P) incorporation methods for measuring microbial mass in vitro and in vivo, enabling the selection of feeds based on the efficiency of microbial protein production;
- 125I-labeled bovine serum albumin and 14C-labeled polyethylene glycol assays for measuring tannin in feeds;
- a method based on the feeding of isotope-labeled protein (15N or 125I) complexed with tannin for ranking different tannins for their abilities to release protein for digestion in vivo;
- 14C-uric acid and 14C-allantoin infusion methods for development of models describing excretion of purine derivatives in urine and microbial protein supply to ruminants, which permit assessment of nutritional status of animals and determination of nutritional quality of feed resources;
- a 15N isotope dilution technique using 15N-leucine to distinguish feed and endogenous secretions at the ileum, for determination of true digestibility of protein-rich tree leaves and aquatic plants in pigs;
- progesterone radioimmunoassay (RIA) for enhancing reproductive efficiency of ruminants, and RIA based leptin and insulin growth factor assays for assessing the nutritional status of animals;
- feeding of 15N enriched plant material to generate 15N-labeled excreta for research on the fate of excreta N in the environment;
- 15N, 13C and 34S isotopic methods for nutrient budgeting and for following the nutrient pathways in soil-plant-animal continuum;
- 32P- or 33P-labeled fertilizers for estimating the efficiency of P utilization in legume leaf production used for livestock feeding;
- doubly labeled water (18O and 2H labeled) method for estimation of energy expenditures of grazing animals, body composition, basal metabolic rate, and milk output in cows with calves;
- NaH13CO3/ NaH14CO3 infusion for estimation of the carbon dioxide production which in turn is used to estimate energy expenditure in free-ranging animals;
- 3H- or 14C-labelled methane and 14C-labeled volatile fatty acids dilution technique for direct and indirect (using stoichiometry of carbohydrate fermentation) respectively for determination of methane emission from livestock;
- 15N dilution technique requiring labeling the soil with 15N fertilizer (15N-ammonium sulphate or 15N-urea) for estimation of nitrogen fixation by leguminous trees and pastures, for better management of pastures and efficient integration of cereal crops with the fodder crops.
Q: How can nuclear technologies be used in livestock breeding and reproductive management?
Q: How do nuclear technologies help control livestock diseases?
Q: What are the major livestock diseases addressed by APH projects?
Q: What does sustainable livestock production mean?
Q: How does IAEA support research in developing countries?
Q: What are CRP and TC projects?
Q: How do I submit an application for a CRP or TC project?
Q: How do I apply to attend a training course?

On Avian Influenza

Q: Are there vaccines for animals ?
Q: How effective is vaccination ?
Q: How easily does the virus spread from bird to bird?
Q: How can the disease be diagnosed in animals?
Q: How can the H5N1 strain of HPAI virus be identified ?
Q: Where can I ask for standard operating procedures or guidelines?
Q: Whom can I contact for advice?
Q: Should we be concerned?
Q: Should I keep all my birds in house and limit contact to wild or free-range birds?