This next weekend, starting on Saturday June 2, the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science (CALAS/ACSAL) will hold the 51st annual symposium in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) will be there, supporting this conference with a booth, kindly arranged by our colleague and ISTT member Karen Groden (University of British Columbia, Rederivation Facility/CDM Transgenics, in Vancouver), who will inform the participants at this 51st CALAS Symposium and advert about the activities and initiatives of our Society, including our next Transgenic Technology meeting, TT2013, to be held in China, next year (Feb 2013). If you are attending this conference, please visit Karen Groden at the ISTT booth!.
One of our ISTT Executive Council members, Tom Fielder, is coming to the end of his first 4-year term on December 31, 2012. As a result, and according to the ISTT bylaws, we are launching the corresponding 2012 ISTT elections for this Council Member seat, to be elected from the four willing candidates identified by the ISTT Nominations Committee to stand for election to the ISTT Executive Council for a 4-year term beginning on 1 January, 2013 and finishing on December 31, 2016.
The four candidates standing for this 2012 ISTT council member election are:
- Martina Crispo (Institut Pasteur, Montevideo, Uruguay)
- Tom Fielder (University of California-Irvine, California, USA)
- Benoît Kanzler (Max Planck Institute of Immunology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany)
- Wenhao Xu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA)
Their profiles and statements can be browsed within the members-only area of the ISTT web site. The election period begins today, May 16, 2012 and will finish on June 15, 2012. Thanks for voting!
The ISTT Nominations Committee
The EMMA (European Mouse Mutant Archive) Cryopreservation Workshop took place earlier this week in Madrid, May 7-8, at the main campus of CSIC, with an excellent success, organized by EMMA, supported by the EC-7th Framework Programme and co-sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Sixty participants from many countries around the world gathered to present and discuss, in depth, the latest approaches, methodologies and techniques available for the efficient cryopreservation of mouse strains, through embryo, sperm and ovary cryopreservation. In addition to invited speakers and invited participants, the workshop was attended by delegates from EMMA nodes and 12 ISTT members. As many as 21 talks were delivered, by selected invited speakers, representing the different major archiving iniatives currently existing (EMMA, MMRRC, The Jackson Laboratory, RIKEN, APN, CMMR, AMMRA) and the research and development initiatives, as well as state-of-art protocols in the field. Presentations, abstracts and pictures from this EMMA Cryopreservation Workshop are freely available to anyone interested, from the meeting web site, and can be also accessed from ISTT and EMMA web sites. The remaining presentations will be progressively added upon receiving the approval from the corresponding guest speakers.
At EMMA, we envisaged this cryopreservation workshop as a forum to brainstorm and discuss in depth the latest technological advances in cryopreservation, including sperm and embryo cryopreservation, updated IVF methods and related techniques as ovary cryopreservation, laser-assisted and piezo-driven ICSI, transportation of frozen material and other technical and logistic challenges relevant to the operation of current mouse embryo/sperm archives. We believed we entirely fulfilled the expectations and all participants went back home, to their research institutions, loaded with new ideas, updated solutions and suggested improvements that can be explored and applied for a most efficient management of a mouse embryo/sperm cryopreservation bank. All participants agreed to continue organizing this type of focused workshops in the near future. The ISTT will be always there, ready to support these very interesting initiatives.
Lluis Montoliu, EMMA Spanish node
A COST Action entitled “A Collaborative European Network on Rabbit Genome Biology – RGB-Net” has been recently funded by the European Union.
Why a COST Action on Rabbit Genome Biology? The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a key species in biology. Basic discoveries have been made investigating this mammal whose genome has been recently sequenced. The rabbit is a livestock, an animal model, a wild resource, a pest and a fancy animal and comprises a large number of breeding stocks/lines. This COST action brings together experts in all rabbit research areas and in other complementary research fields (breeders, geneticists, bioinformaticians, physiologists, evolutionists, embryologists, immunologists, industry experts, etc.) in order to facilitate the transition of rabbit genomic information from experimental data into usable benefits and applications by means of networking expertise.
Four Working Groups are focused on:
- 1) the refinement of the European rabbit genome resource and the development of genome-based platforms
- 2) genetic aspects in meat, fur and pet rabbits and biodiversity resources
- 3) the rabbit as a model in basic biology and human diseases and as a tool for biotechnology applications and
- 4) genetic and comparative genomic aspects for the study, exploitation and management of wild lagomorphs.
The expected outcome is a coordination of rabbit research activities and a transfer of knowledge which will produce a strong European added value across a broad spectrum of biology research fields, including applications and new developments on transgenic rabbits, as defined by Working Group 3 that enlists many experts in this field. RGB-Net is organizing workshops, meetings, training schools and can provide funds for short term scientific mobility.
RGB-Net is open to all interested scientists from European and non-European countries. Contacts: Prof. Luca Fontanesi, Chair of RGB-Net; Prof. Zsuzsanna Bosze, RGB-Net WG3 Leader and ISTT Member.
Additional details can be obtained from RGB-Net website.