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CRYO2019 Plenary Speakers in the News

CRYO2019 Plenary speakers Bart Panis and Oliver Ryder have featured in a recent news article by Katharine Gammon, a freelance science writer in California, who attended CRYO2019 as our guest. Ryder, the director of the "Frozen Zoo", presented on the continuous efforts made by the San Diego zoo to cryopreserve genetic material from over 10,000 species. Panis, a senior researcher with the Leuven, Bioversity International, discussed with Gammon the massive ice cave-turned-seed bank, Svalbard seed vault, with its 820,000 seed samples and the challenges surrounding flora cryopreservation. Read the full article HERE

Organ Transplant Survival Rate to Triple

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School began supercooling rat livers 5 years ago with the intention of being able to preserve human organs for more than the current 9 hours. Society for Cryobiology members, Reinier de Vries and Korkut Uygun, contributed to the research team's current experiment on human livers that were unsuitable for transplants. The research team's ultimate goal is a true organ bank where organs can be preserved for years instead of hours or days and in essence, eliminate the hundreds of deaths that occur while patients wait for a suitable transplant. Read the full article HERE.

Postponing Menopause

Springboarding off the research done to preserve female's fertility before cancer treatments, researchers are now applying the same techniques to women in an attempt to postpone menopause. Researchers remove an ovarian tissue sample, use cryopreservation to preserve the pre-menopausal tissue, and then, even decades later, thaw and graft the tissue back onto the body. This tissue can then restore the reduced hormones and delay menopause. Tissue samples from nine women are being preserved, ready to be used just as the women begin to enter menopause.

Of course the younger and healthier the original tissue sample, the more effective it will be in delaying menopause. A tissue sample from a 40-year-old woman is expected to delay menopause by only 5 years, but future women in their 20s may be able to postpone menopause or even extend their fertility window by 20 to 30 years. READ MORE...

The First Lunar Colonist!

You shouldn't expect any Lunar base construction yet; the first know lunar "colonists" are Tardigrades. These microscopic "water bears" can survive in nearly all of Earth's extreme environmental conditions - boiling, freezing, high pressure, and vacuum - everything except ultraviolet radiation. 

An experiment about the Tardigrades' adaptability to space literally crash-landed during the Israeli moon mission, Beresheet, on April 11th, scattering the thousands of tiny creatures across the moon's surface. However, without the presence of liquid water their survival rate is next to zero. READ MORE...

Death of David Pegg

It is with sadness we have to pass on news of the recent death of Prof. David Pegg at his home in York, United Kingdom on Saturday August 3, 2019. He was 86 years old.

Prof. Pegg completed a Bachelor of Science and Medical Degree at the University of London in 1956, and followed this with a Doctorate in Medicine in 1963 from the same institution. The early part of his career was spent at Westminster Medical School in Clinical and Lecturing posts, before spending the major part of his career based in Cambridge at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Research Centre (1968 - 1978) and then as Head of the MRC Medical Cryobiology Group (1978 - 1992). Prof. Pegg then moved to York, as Director of the Medical Cryobiology Unit at the University of York. Prof. Pegg was an advisor to the UK's National Blood Service, Department of Health, and Human Embryology and Fertilization Authority. He also served as Chairman of the Society for Low Temperature Biology, Prof. Pegg trained a number of prominent British and international cryobiologists, including former Associate Editor of Cryobiology, W. John Armitage (University of Bristol), Barry Fuller (University College London/Royal Free Hospital), Mike Taylor (Sylvatica Biotech/Carnegie Mellon University).

Prof. Pegg is well-known as a great cryobiologist who made outstanding contributions to the science of cryobiology and to the Society for Cryobiology. He was a founding member of the Society for Cryobiology and served the Society as President (1974-1975), Governor (several terms), and Editor-in-Chief of Cryobiology (1994 - 2011). He was elected as a Fellow of the Society for Cryobiology in 2005. Prof. Pegg's primary research interests focused on tissue and organ cryopreservation. Recent research projects had included work on corneas, cartilage, blood vessels, cardiac valves, and tissue-engineered graft materials. He was interested in not only the fundamental mechanism of freezing injury, but also the development of novel cryopreservation techniques and their clinical applications. He authored and/or edited six books and more than 200 journal papers in the field of cryobiology.

A memorial ceremony in celebration of Prof. Pegg's life will take place on Thursday 29th August in York, UK. 

Sincerely, 
Nicole Evans, Executive Director
Dayong Gao, President 

Society for Cryobiology

Are We Ready for Space Babies?

We don't have to worry about our planetary passports quite yet. As a species, we're still "light years" away from space babies, but the  European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Vienna presented research that frozen sperm samples can still be viable after being subject to microgravity conditions.

Montserrat Boada, director of an embryology laboratory at Dexeus Mujer, a women's health center in Barcelona, Spain and a team of researchers tested the effects of altered on sperm samples using aerial abcroatics. Passenger air flight is no comparison to the conditions these 10 sperm samples underwent which included at least 20 parabolic maneuvers that exposed the samples to space-like gravity and gravity forces two to three times more than experienced on Earth.  Other obstacles to future space colonization would include conception, the effect of microgravity on respiratory and circular systems, and the unknown prenatal effect of zero-Gs. Read more HERE

Assemble Plus Marine Funding Call

Assemble Plus


Assemble Plus has opened its fourth call for access to infrastructure in Marine labs in Europe. 

The Assemble plus consortium has opened again the Transnational access competitive calls where any scientist can apply with a good, short idea and the A+ covers the expenses (travel, accommodation, research, equipment fees) of that project for 1 month in any of the marine stations in the consortium. Application is quite straightforward and very in touch with the team on the selected destination.

Visit the Assemble Plus website for more information about how to apply. 

ISBER Best Practices Addendum

The Society for Cryobiology, in partnership with the ISBER, is pleased to announce the launch of the Liquid Nitrogen-Based Cryogenic Storage of Specimens Best Practices Addendum to the ISBER Best Practices 4th Edition. "The new Liquid Nitrogen Best Practices Addendum will be a go-to resource for the growing number of repositories being asked to store cellular products being used in adoptive therapy research and manufacturing. We are grateful to the team of contributors who are world leaders, who have shared their expertise in building and managing facilities to support collections requiring sub-Tg (glass transition, -135°C) storage,” said David Lewandowski, President of ISBER.
The new ISBER Addendum and the ISBER Best Practices 4th Edition is available to download now.

2019 Royan Institute Cryobiology & Biobanking Symposium

The Royan Institute held their third cryobiology and biobanking symposium on February 27, 2019, in Tehran, Iran. The Royan Institute was established in 1991 as a public non-profit research institute for reproductive biomedicine and infertility treatments. Today Royan consists of three research institutes: 

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Pig Brains Partially Revived after Death

Yale scientists managed to partially revive the brains of decapitated pigs by flooding the organ with oxygen-rich artificial blood. These researchers are quick to assure the public the brains did not show any signs of consciousness; instead, their experiment showed the possibility of limiting or reversing long term brain damage as blood stops circulating. The ability to restore cell function to the brain and slow the decay process in pig brains deceased 4 to 6 hours has the potential for extraordinary applications for stroke or Alzheimer victims. The entire article can be read HERE.

Permafrost Preserved Foal

Russian and South Korean researchers have extracted liquid blood and urine samples from a 42,000-year-old foal preserved by the Siberian permafrost. Upon discovery in August 2018, the one to two-week-old foal showed no external damage with skin, tail, and hooves still intact with hair still present on portions of the body. The scientist's lofty goal is to clone the horse and revive the extinct Lenskaya horse breed to which this foal belongs. A viable DNA sample from the blood is required for any hope of cloning and the scientists currently have 20 unviable blood samples. However, they are confident and are actively searching for a suitable surrogate mare in anticipation of a successful clone. The full article can be found HERE.

New Administrator Announced

The Society for Cryobiology is pleased to announce that we have employed a new administrator - Amelia Hanson. She has an education in chemical engineering and experience in the Houston oil & gas industry. A native Texan, Amelia now lives in New Zealand as a technical writer and website designer. Working directly with the society's Executive Director, Nicole Evans, Amelia assumed the position of administrator February 27th, 2019. You can contact her at [email protected].

2019 Election

2019 Elections

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Program Committee Track Co-Chair for Plant Cryobiotechnology at CRYO2019

Gayle VolkGayle Volk, a CRYO2019 Program Committee Track Co-Chair for Plant Cryobiotechnology, has recently been in the news about a study into heritage apple cultivars in Wyoming, USA. Samples from Heritage apples, planted in the 1800s, were collected from nearly a hundred farms, orchards, or homesteads and are being studied to determine existing traits that allow these trees to survive, even thrive, in the harsh, cold Wyoming climate. 

The original article can be found HERE

Potential Male Cancer Fertility Breakthrough

Photo by Magda Ehlers from PexelsTesticle tissue samples from the rhesus macaques are being used in new research to preserve the fertility of preadolescent boys with cancer. Kyle Orwig from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and his team, removed testicle tissue from 5 prepubescent monkeys. After the monkeys reached sexual maturity, the tissue was grafted back onto the monkey's back and scrotum and within 12 months all 5 monkeys were producing testosterone and sperm. The team used the sperm from one of the monkeys to successfully impregnate a female.

Prior to puberty, young boys don't develop sperm that can be preserved in the event of infertility, a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. By taking small testicle samples of these young boys, researchers hope to be able to preserve the fertility of these future cancer survivors. The original article can be found HERE

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