Filtered by category: Research Clear Filter

Human Egg Storage Laws Change in UK

Patients in the UK will now have more time to decide their family planning after government changes the egg, sperm, and embryo storage regulations. Presently fertility storage is limited based on medical needs and limited to a 10 year period. After the successful campaign by the Progress Educational Trust, the new regulations will open fertility storage to more people who choose fertility storage for medical or social reasons and provide a 10-year renewable storage cycle for a maximum of 55 years. Fertility advances mean human eggs can be stored indefinitely without deterioration using vitrification, making the current 10-year limit obsolete. Additional conditions surrounding third-party donors and posthumous use will be investigated and regulated separately.

Read More
1 Comments

Coral Reef Cryopreservation

In a recent interview with the Hawaiian Public Radio, Mary Hagedorn, a marine biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, described their ongoing efforts to preserve coral samples for future generations. At its inception, the Hagedorn Lab first froze the sperm and stem cells of two species of coral from Kāneʻohe Bay and currently has 48 coral species preserved from around the world. Society for Cryobiology member, Jessica Bouwmeester describes the process - "Everything is stored at minus 185 degrees Celsius. So we can keep it like that for years, decades, for as long as we need it," Bouwmeester said. International collaboration has provided samples from the Great Barrier Reef, the Caribbean, Hawai'i, Frech Polynesia, and the Gulf of Mexico. But with only 48 out of 1,000 known coral species preserved, they've barely scratched the surface. Read more.

24,000-year-old 'zombies' revived and cloned from Arctic permafrost

Back from the dead... Bdelloid Rotifers are multicellular microscopic animals with a wheel-like ring of tiny hairs that circle their mouths and that live in freshwater environments. They've been around for about 50 million years. Now, scientists from the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, Russia have resuscitated rotifers that froze in ancient Siberian permafrost during the latter part of the Pleistocene epoch (2.6 million to about 11,700 years ago). These researchers drilled to 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) below the Siberia Alazeya River surface to collect their samples. The soil was radiocarbon dated at ~24,000 years old. Once thawed in the lab, these "zombie" rotifers reanimated and began reproducing asexually through parthenogenesis and created clones that were their genetic duplicates. Read the full new article...

New Techniques for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Scientists at UC Santa Barbara, University of Southern California (USC), and the biotechnology company Regenerative Patch Technologies LLC (RPT) have discovered a new method for preserving RPT's stem cell-based therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in aging populations. This new research uses a flexible scaffold, about 18 mm2, to optimize the cryopreservation of a single layer of ocular cells generated from human embryonic stem cells. Currently in clinical trials, this implant can be frozen, stored for long periods, distributed to clinical sites, then thawed and immediately implanted into the patient's eyes. The extended shelf-life and on-demand distribution will increase the number of patients who can benefit from this treatment. Read the full article. 

Read More

New Method to Cryopreserve Fruit Fly

 The Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly, a critical genetic research model, has eluded scientist's attempt to cryopreserve the embryos until now. A research team from the University of Minnesota and Center for Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio) including Society for Cryobiology members Drs. Le Zhan and John Bischof, introduce a new method of cryopreserving Drosophila embryos with >50% of the embryos hatching post cryopreservation and >25% of the resulting larvae maturing to full adults. According to the Society for Cryobiology member Dr. John Bischof "Our multi-disciplinary team is pleased to contribute an accessible protocol to cryopreserve numerous strains of Drosophila, an important biomedical model, while also hopefully informing other insect and related species embryo preservation." Humans share more than 50% of their genes with the Drosophila, and these seemingly insignificant flies have already been vital for Alzehimer or Zika research. Read the news article or the original research abstract.

Automated Embryo Cryopreservation

Improved cryopreservation of embryos in the field of IVF would increase fertility odds for Would-Be parents and the health of their future babies. A research collaboration between the National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Iran and McGill University and the University of British Columbia in Canada introduce an independent, automated microfluidic system to replace the water with cryoprotectants (CPAs) during the embryo vitrification process. Traditional CPA pipetting techniques can result in abrupt osmotic shock causing molecular damage to the embryos. In this new method, the embryos are placed on a chip that automatically controls the CPA's concentration and flow rate, significantly reducing potential human error. Read the full news article or the Biomicrofluidics abstract.

Reversing Osteoarthritis in Mice

A research team from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Wuhan Union Hospital have developed a new medium, named Cryogel, to reverse osteoarthritis in mice with slow releasing stem cells. This sponge-like material is created at subzero temperatures and is extremely porous. After seeded the Cryogel with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), it is implanted at the affected joint. "It takes about two weeks for half of the implanted cells to leave, but their regenerative effects stick around for longer," said corresponding author Wei Tong from the Department of Orthopedics of Union Hospital. "So it is possible that the therapeutic result comes indirectly, via the stem cells secreting epidermal growth factors, which stimulate cell proliferation and healing, rather than directly becoming newly formed cartilage in the joint." The team also reports that this technique reduces the required stem cell amount by 90%. Read the news article or the original abstract published in Chemical Engineering Journal.

Biostasis Research Institute Launched

An ambitious project to create a human "Organ Bank", the Biostasis Research Institute (BRI), is underway in conjunction with the Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Minnesota. Society for Cryobiology member, co-founder and Director of the BRI, Jedediah Lewis, says "This institute is another major step forward in the ability to store life. These technologies can bring to science and medicine what other domains, such as energy and agriculture, have taken for granted for centuries: practical, widespread distribution of humanity's most important lifesaving resources. The benefits for human health will be profound." Society for Cryobiology members Dr. Korkut Uygun and Dr. Shannon Tessier are part of the leadership team for the Center for Biostasis at Massachusetts General Hospital, one of two research facilities to be built, which will develop and apply new technologies for controlling ice formation at sub-freezing temperatures and create living systems able to undergo extreme temperature changes. Society for Cryobiology member Dr. John Bischof is part of the leadership team for the other research center, the Organ and Tissue Preservation Center at the University of Minnesota, which will focus on new reanimation technologies to restore and revive the cryopreserved organs. The BRI's three initial objectives are preserving organs for infants and children in need of a transplant, creating the first functional human brain banks, and extending the storage time of kidney transplants from days to weeks. Read the full article.

BioRescue Prepares for Northern White Rhinos

The international team of scientists and researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research are pleased to announce the introduction of four new northern white rhino (NWR) embryos, totaling nine embryos ready for implantation into surrogate southern white rhinos (SWRs). Oocytes (immature egg cells) were collected from Fatu, one of the two last remaining NWR, and artificially inseminated using frozen sperm from deceased NWR males. The team is currently preparing the family environment including carefully selecting potential surrogate SWR and sterilizing Owuan, a SWR male, whose behavior will provide key indicators to the surrogate's reproductive timing. Read the full article...

Special Announcement: ASRM Committee Opinion

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recently announced in a committee opinion that ovarian tissue cryopreservation (OTC) is no longer considered experimental and can be used in prepubertal patients or when there is not time for ovarian stimulation. This is a major step for the field and provides young patients with more options to preserve their future fertility.

Read More

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. 

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.

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

Read More

Assemble Plus Marine Funding Call

Assemble Plus Marine Funding Call

Assemble Plus

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

Assemble Plus funds acess, travel and living expenses for researchers to carry out experiments using marine organisms or equipment available in the marine stations within its member network.

View the Funding Call, check out the FAQ, and visit the Assemble Plus website to find out more information. 

'Apollo Program' of Organ Banking Announced

'Apollo Program' of Organ Banking Announced

Did you know that for every ONE patient that receives a heart transplant in the USA, TEN hearts from organ donors are wasted because they cannot be transplanted in time?

Read More