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Issue 8, 2006
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Wildlife biomaterial banking in Africa for now and the future

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The Wildlife Biological Resource Centre (wBRC) together with its partners in BioBank SA, have created a Biological Resource Bank (BRB) that is dedicated to the acquisition, processing, banking, using and provision of biomaterials to the scientific and conservation industry that are viable, diverse and representative of southern Africa’s wildlife populations. Banked biomaterials include tissue such as muscle, kidney, fat, liver, embryos, fibroblast cultures, blood, sperm, hair, egg shells and other tissue, fluids and cells. Biomaterials are made available for research, biodiversity conservation and biotechnology development. Biomaterials are used in many disciplines, including genetics, reproduction, nutrition, and disease studies. Biomaterials from selected species are also useful for the detection and monitoring of Persistent Organic Pollutants and other potentially harmful substances found in the environment. Biomaterials are made available to third parties with prior consent from the biomaterials “owner” and only after the signing of a customised Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) or Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). The training of staff from National and Provincial Game Reserves, Zoological Gardens, Animal Breeders and laboratories is carried out on a regular basis with the aim of securing good quality biomaterials. Sampling kits are made available to persons tasked with the collection of wildlife biomaterials. The Biobank SA consortium acts as an integrated resource centre linking partner collections. The consortium’s operational arm, namely wBRC, is active in the development of relevant policy, regulations and legislation pertaining to biomaterials, including Access and Benefit Sharing systems. The main sponsor of the project is the Department of Science and Technology, National Government of South Africa.

Graphical abstract: Wildlife biomaterial banking in Africa for now and the future

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Article information

First published
07 Apr 2006

J. Environ. Monit., 2006,8, 779-781
Article type

Wildlife biomaterial banking in Africa for now and the future

P. Bartels and A. Kotze, J. Environ. Monit., 2006, 8, 779
DOI: 10.1039/B602809H

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