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New Editor-in-Chief for Cryobiology

I pleased to announce the new Editor-in-Chief of Cryobiology has been named as Prof. Janet A.W. Elliott. Prof. Elliott will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief on January 1, 2022.

After a 12-year tenure Prof. David Rawson recently made the decision to step down as Editor-in-Chief to enjoy a (second!) retirement, but also as he believes the role of Editor-in-Chief will be better served by someone who is still active in research.

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Historic French Grapevines to be Preserved

A world without your favorite wine? At best you'll pay more; at worst you won't get it at all. Climate change and a lack of biodiversity are making some grape and wine varieties obsolete. The French National Institute for Research into Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) has launched the cryopreservation of the world's largest collection of historical grapevines. This $12.1 million (€ 10.4 million) conservation center was built to protect and support plant tissue supplied by Domaine de Vassal, a 27-hectare vineyard, with grapevines collected from the 1870s and will be stored in cryobanks of liquid nitrogen at -196°C. INRAE researcher, Phillippe Chatelet says the primary challenge will be the safe regeneration of these vine tissues.
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COVID-19 Research - Preserving Lung Tissue

Advancing beyond growing and testing individual cell lines in the lab, UF Health scientists have discovered a novel method of cryopreserving lung tissue at -184°F with the intention of studying the impact of the coronavirus and COVID-19 on the tissue. A key ingredient in this new cryopreserving method is a protein found in Antarctic fish which inhibits the formation of ice crystals. “When we thaw these lung tissue cells, they retain many of the original properties from before they were frozen,” said Matthew Schaller, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. “The cells are still alive and metabolically active, so they can eat and secrete and, importantly, be infected by virus.”

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2021 Election Results

2021 Election Winners 

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Tiantian Zhang Elected to CryoFellow 2021

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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.

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Welcome to our New Associate Editors

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Nucharin Songsasen and Dr. Kelvin Brockbank as our new Associate Editors for Cryobiology. Alongside Barbara Reed and Wim Wolkers, this brings the total number of Associate Editors to four. 

  Dr. Nucharin Songsasen joined the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in 2002. She has led the Global Canid Conservation program within SCBI since 2002, expanding the program's efforts from the laboratory to field conservation in countries such as Brazil, Thailand, and MyanmarHer laboratory focuses on developing technologies to grow ovarian follicles from domestic dogs and cats in vitro as models for preserving genetics from wild canids and felids. In December 2018 Dr. Songsasen became the head of the Center for Species Survival within SCBI. Dr. Songsasen has been a member of the Cryobiology editorial board since 2012.
     
  Dr. Kelvin Brockbank is the Founder and CEO of Tissue Testing Technologies, Research Professor of Bioengineering at Clemson University, and Adjunct Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina. His research interests include cell, tissue and organ cryopreservation for test systems and transplantation and manufacturing methods for cell-based tissue engineered therapy products. Dr. Brockbank has been a member of the Cryobiology editorial board since 2016.

SfC Participates in First ATP-Bio Summit

On September 13, SfC President, Adam Higgins, and Executive Director, Nicole Evans, attended the first ATP-Bio Summit. The summit introduced ATP-Bio key faculty, industry, NGO and non-profit members, and outlined thrust areas such as Biological Engineering, Controlling Water During Freezing, and Rapid and Uniform Rewarming.

On October 12-13 ATP-BIo will be hosting a year one summary and virtual NSF site visit. This involves 2 days of presentations by ATP-Bio and questions from the NSF and responses from ATP-Bio. 

2021 Election

2021 Election

DOWNLOAD ELECTION MATERIALS

The Society for Cryobiology 2021 election will be held October 11 - 25, 2021The following candidates are standing for election:

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Society for Cryobiology Joins ATP-Bio

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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. 

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Allison Hubel Elected to CryoFellow 2021

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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...

Leadership Opportunities

The nominations committee is now inviting expressions of interest from all Society members in good standing for the following positions

  • President-Elect (2022 - 2023) --> President (2024-2025)
  • Treasurer (2022 - 2023)
  • Secretary (2022 - 2023)
  • 3x Governors (2022 - 2024) 
The President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary form the Society for Cryobiology's Executive Committee, along with the President and Executive Director. They hold monthly meetings to discuss current Society business. They also partake in the quarterly Board of Governors meetings, and other duties outlined below. Specifics relating to these roles can be found in the Society's bylaws

Society for Cryobiology Governors take an active role in the decision making that guides the Society. Governors participate in quarterly Board meetings and take on leadership responsibilities in various Society committees. They may also be involved in leadership roles in other Society activities of their interest, for example the Annual Meeting, or ad hoc projects. 

To express your interest or for an informal discussion regarding the various roles please email Executive Director, Nicole Evans. Please note all nominations are subject to approval by the nominations committee. This does not affect your right to nomination by petition as outlined in the Society's bylaws

If your candidate nomination is accepted or you are nominated by petition you will be required to provide a detailed biography, statement outlining your vision for the Society, and a photograph for the election materials. 

The deadline to express your interest in standing as a candidate for Governor is Monday August 16, 2021. The election will be held October 11-25, 2021.