Datesand News

Logistics & Locations

the keys to effective delivery and stock control


envigo-diet-storeIt’s almost ten years now since we began working with our distribution partners just outside Cambridge. With so many key clients in Cambridge itself, London of course and other locations south of Watford, we realised that a distribution hub in the Cambridge area, with a good warehouse and a substantial fleet of vehicles was an absolute must. We’ve never looked back since then and as the UK’s leading bedding and enrichment supplier we have now developed strategic distribution locations in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford and, of course, Manchester itself.

As well as allowing us to deliver swiftly and efficiently across the UK, these long-standing partnerships also facilitate intelligent stock holding around the country and the provision of vital contingency stocks close to where clients may actually require them.

At our Cambridge site, which serves most of the South of the country, we hold stock of key items for general use as well as specific, ring fenced stock for particular clients. Clients can choose to set up a standing order or agree an SLA to arrange for dedicated contingency stocks to be stored in the state of the art warehouse facility and delivered to order on a vehicle of choice from the fleet of 18 vehicles.

We think the advantages of our network of distribution for our clients and for our own peace of mind are very clear:

•  Clean, audited facilities suitable for the storage of bedding and diet

•  Locally managed and monitored stock

•  Fleet of vehicles ready to deliver on same day if required

•  Secure and safe

• Multiple sites for extra security, dynamic response and peace of mind

•  Contingency stocks on key lines

Contact us now if you’d like to discuss future possibilities for your delivery requirements and stock planning.

JWI Goes Global

We’re absolutely delighted, as readers will know, with the response to the first annual Janet Wood Innovation Award which attracted a host of really good ideas from the UK biosciences community and has led already to four new and highly innovative products being made ready for commercial distribution.


This Award has now gained the support of the US association Aalas, and the 2018 competition along with the new products on show from this year’s entries attracted a great deal of interest in Austin just this month.

We’re very excited to announce that the Janet Wood Innovation award has now been transformed into an international award with entries invited from every country in the world. Inspired by the great support offered by Aalas, we announced this development at the meeting in Austin a few days ago and we’ve alrejwiady received our first requests for entry packs from overseas colleagues.

So the competition is really hotting up and the key objective behind this initiative, to get innovative, practical ideas for enrichment from the people who live and breathe lab animal science and make them into actual, commercially viable devices, is further advanced as a result.

We’re very proud of this award and the importance it will hopefully have for our industry, its precious charges and the people who look after them – so, don’t delay!  Get those ideas flowing and contact us today for an entry pack which will provide you with everything you need to submit your entry for this year’s competition.

ISO Success


Early in October, Datesand was assessed for registration to the new ISO 9001-2015 Quality System Standard (International Organisation for Standardisation). We’ve been immensely proud to hold our registration to the prestigious ISO Quality Standard since 2008. The Standard is a very important measure of an organisation’s quality systems and is independently assessed every year by an accredited body looking carefully at every aspect of the quality systems of the companies involved.

For us, and companies like us, it’s confirmation that our key systems are sound and it helps us also to make gradual improvement to those systems and ensure that our direction of travel is appropriate and progressive. It also lets us know when things need adjusting and has really helped us to address key issues that have required attention over the years.

This year a new and slightly different Standard has been launched (9001-2015 which supersedes the previous 9001-2008)  and our Quality Manager Stephen have been working for many months now with the Directors and with specialist consultants to ensure that our quality systems and the teams involved in making them work are ready for the assessment. Stephen, and the rest of us, were able to breathe a deep sigh of relief following the surveillance visit. The assessor reported back verbally that we had passed with flying colours and that we can now proudly add the ISO 9001-2015 logo to our website and all our paperwork and display our new certificate on the reception wall here at HQ.

This follows hot on the heels of our reaccreditation, earlier this year, to the IIP Standard (Investors in People) which scrutinises the way in which an organisation recruits, trains and looks after the development and well-being of its employees. So, despite a very hectic year, many new developments and initiatives and the addition of several new members of staff to the team, we’re delighted to be judged to be doing the right things and, in particular, meeting the requirements of these two important accreditation bodies.


The Datesand battle for fitness continues…

fit-bit-compIn the continuing campaign to get fit which has been raging at Datesand now for many months (years!), technology has been brought into play at long last and a certain degree of rivalry seems to have come along with it…

Our Accounts Assistant Linsey is in the thick of it!

Linsey writes: There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, or so we’re told. So when it comes to varying levels of fitness (and enthusiasm for a workout) there seems to be a bit of a Fitbit War in the office these days, with Nicky, Amanda, Helen, Linsey, Rebecca and Juliana taking part most weeks. As expected, this requires some gentle encouragement at times as well as occasional threats of bodily harm, but it’s all in the name of fun. Unfortunately, some weeks tend to get a little quiet when certain people forget to charge their watches – we’re told, of course, that this is purely ‘accidental’.

The Mystery of Prions

More Than 30 Years Since Their Discovery, Prions Still fascinate, terrify and mystify us

Figuring out what they were was just the beginning of a field of research into prions and prion diseases that’s still growing

By Kat Eschner
October 6, 2017


Prions–the name comes from “proteinaceous infectious particle”–were big news in the 1980s, when it became clear that these proteins caused disease. But more than 30 years after they were discovered, we’re still figuring them out.

On October 6th in 1997, American biologist Stanley B. Prusiner received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of prions, “an entirely new genre of disease-causing agents,” in the words of the Nobel committee. But even though Prusiner’s work started in 1972, by 2017 we still only sort of understand prions.

You’ve probably heard of these infectious proteins in the context of brain diseases like mad cow disease (technical name: bovine spongiform encephalopathy). Humans can also get prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease and the rare Kuru, which was transmitted by the Fore people’s custom of eating their deceased as part of funerary rituals. These diseases, which are collectively known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are only the best-understood part of the prion picture.

“Prions are distorted versions of normal proteins found in human and animal brain and other tissues,” explains Colorado State University’s Prion Research Center. “These distorted (‘misfolded’) proteins damage brain cells, leading to fatal dementias akin to human Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”

When normal proteins in your brain–for some reason that’s not fully understood–misfold, “they turn into contagious pathogens that recruit any other prions they come into contact with, grouping together in clumps that damage other cells and eventually cause the brain itself to break down,” writes Fiona MacDonald for ScienceAlert.

“…Technically speaking, proteins shouldn’t be able to infect other proteins–they’re not alive, after all–and scientists have never really been able to explain the behaviour of prions–hence their reputation as the weirdest molecules ever,”  she writes.

Not only are prions not alive (and contain no DNA), they can survive being boiled, being treated with disinfectants, and can still infect other brains years after they were transferred to a scalpel or other tool.

We’re still trying to figure out how normal proteins fold into prions and what causes them to do so, although there have been a number of advances in recent years. Among them, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have recently been linked to prions. Scientists have suggested that these brain diseases are caused by similar protein folding and it has been suggested that they should be called “prionoid” diseases–similiar to TSEs, but not transmissible (that we know of.)

Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Product Focus – Tunnel Clip

A new product from Datesand

A simple design made from durable plastic that allows
technicians to suspend a play tunnel from the wire lid of most cages.











julianaJuliana Mckie

Customer Service &  Logistics Advisor

I have been with Datesand a year, and that year has flown by so quickly! I am a Customer Service and Logistics Advisor with a focus on our International Customers. This is the perfect role for me, as I love to travel, and have made friends and contacts from all over the world.

I have been in the UK for 10 years now. I came over the pond to study Archaeology at the University of Leicester in 2007, and met my now husband on the first day of class. We have been married for 4 years. After getting my Masters in Archaeology from the University of Reading, I decided that though I have a passion for history, I also have a passion for administration and logistics, so really focused on following that career path. I cannot imagine doing anything else now and am happy I have been able to follow my dreams, even if they did change along the way.
I grew up in Florida and Kansas, so I try to stay connected to my US roots wherever possible. Which often means inflicting US holidays on my colleagues here at Datesand. Whether it is bringing in a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or going out for burgers and barbecue on the 4th of July, I love to share the warmth and enthusiasm of these holidays with others.
I have lived in Manchester for a year and it is such a fantastic city and community. Lately, my husband and I have been exploring the Lake and Peak Districts and we love nothing more than taking long and adventurous walks on the weekends. Next summer, I will be filling in the hundreds of forms to become a dual citizen with both the UK and the US.

bio1 bio3 bio2








Just for fun:

Which everyday stationery item helped to bring the joint Nobel prize for Physics to Manchester University in 2010?



Scotch sticky tape

(Two emigré Russian scientists working at the university managed to use sticky tape to peel off thinner and thinner layers of carbon until they got down to a flake just one atom thick. The new material was named graphene and is one of the most unique and potentially useful materials ever developed.)

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Sadly, there aren’t very many of these amazing creatures left on the planet. Can you name the animal and do you know exactly where it lives?








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Chemo-Boosting Drug Discovered for Leukemia

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)


chemo-boosting-drug-discoveredResearchers have discovered that the most common form of acute leukemia which strikes adults, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), prevents chemotherapy from being delivered properly by causing bone marrow to leak blood. This means that, by using drugs developed to treat blood vessel and heart problems in concert with chemotherapy, AML might be much more treatable. In this study, these drugs reversed bone marrow leaks in tissue from mice and humans, and also boosted chemotherapy effects. Since these drugs are already in clinical trials for other applications, the team hopes that they may be approved for use in the treatment of AML patients soon.

“We found that the cancer was damaging the walls of blood vessels responsible for delivering oxygen, nutrients, and chemotherapy. When we used drugs to stop the leaks in mice, we were able to kill the cancer using conventional chemotherapy,” Diana Passaro, Francis Crick Institute researcher and first author of the paper, said in a press release.

The team studied the ways in which AML affects bone marrow by injecting healthy mice with bone marrow from AML patients to create AML mice. They then used intravital microscopy to compare the bone marrow of AML mice with healthy mice and observed pre-loaded fluorescent dyes leaking from the bone marrow blood vessels into the AML mice. Next, they discovered that the cells lining the blood vessels in AML mice were oxygen-starved, which led to increases in nitric oxide (NO), a muscle relaxant. They realized this was probably causing the leaking, and provided NO blockers to the AML mice which slowed leukemia progress and extended remission.

Bringing cultures together with a mutual love of music.

Four years ago, a small group of friends all with a passion for music formed a band, ProZero,

Over the years ProZero played at some great local venues with some fantastic musicians and gathered a substantial following of Polish fans, before changing their name to CorAdCor.

Just over a year ago CorAdCor invited female vocalist Claire to join them bringing an English flare to the mix.

This year CorAdCor branched out into the English community with the Rec’d all day festival in Widnes and set out to Poland to play the immensely popular Woodstock Festival alongside some talented and well known artist, and hope to return to both in 2018.

After launching a successful Pure Rock Festival in the Polish community last year, CorAdCor plan to launch Pure Rock Festival 2, in association with local production company, Soup Productions to the English music scene in Widnes at The Studio, 5 Lacey St, Widnes WA8 7SQ, on 21st October 2017.

The band hopes this is the beginning of a successful career in both English and Polish communities, bringing the two cultures together with one mutual love….Music.











CorAdCor is a 5 piece band with fusion rock stylings.
Sebastian Fortuna, Claire Williams, Robert Macuda, Grzegorz ‘Gregory’ & Mariusz Kremski