The TT2014 meeting web page has been launched: REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

The TT2014 meeting web site has been launched. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
The TT2014 meeting web site has been launched. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Today, the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting web site has been launched. And meeting registration is already open!. The TT2014 meeting is organized by ISTT members Douglas Strathdee-chair, Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw and will be held at The Assembly Rooms, in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014. Immediately following the TT2014 meeting, on October 9-10, 2014, there will be a hands-on practical workshop called ‘An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis‘ which will focus on Zebrafish. Further details about this practical workshop will be announced at the TT2014 meeting web site.

The meeting is hosted by three world-class Scottish research institutes and the University of Edinburgh: the Roslin Institute; the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. All three Institutes are world-renowned for producing top quality science at the forefront of biomedical research. The TT meeting visits the UK for the first time following the previous TT meetings in Guangzhou, China (TT2013); Florida, USA (TT2011); Berlin, Germany (TT2010); Toronto, Canada (TT2008); Brisbane, Australia (TT2007) and Barcelona, Spain (TT2005). This will be the 12th meeting in the series, originally pioneered by Johannes Wilbertz (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) in 1999. Since the foundation of the ISTT in 2006, the TT meetings have been the main event sponsored by the Society.

The following speakers have confirmed their participation at the TT2014 meeting:

  • David Adams, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK
  • Ignacio Anegon, Center for Research in Transplantation and Immunology, Nantes, France
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Kat Hadjatonakis, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Coenraad Hendriksen, Institute for Translational Vaccinology, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
  • Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center Cambridge, USA
  • Jos Jonkers, Division of Molecular Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Keith Joung, Molecular Pathology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA
  • Alex Joyner, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Jim Murray, Department of Animal Science and Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  • Stephen Murray, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
  • Lluis Montoliu, ISTT President, Organising Committee, National Center of Biotechnology (CNB), CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Universität Mu?nchen, Munich, Germany
  • Pawel Pelczar, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Janet Rossant, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Angelika Schnieke, Livestock Biotechnology, WZW Center of Life Science, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
  • Kai Schönig, Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • Austin Smith, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Jacqui White, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK

At the TT2014 meeting, the ISTT will be awarding the 10th ISTT Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies to Prof. Janet Rossant (The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada). The ISTT Prize is generously sponsored by genOway.

At the TT2014 meeting, the ISTT will be also awarding the 3rd ISTT Young Investigator Award, generously sponsored by inGenious Targeting Laboratory. The ISTT Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding achievements by a young scientist who will keep the field of transgenic technologies vibrant with new ideas and who has recently received his or her advanced professional degree.

At the TT2014 meeting, and for the first time, the ISTT Best Poster Awards, traditionally awarded to the best posters presented at the corresponding TT meeting, will be generously sponsored by Charles River.

Accepted abstracts submitted for the TT2014 meeting, will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies. Applications should be sent, along with the registration document to istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2014. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.

Important deadlines:

  • Abstract submission deadline June 30, 2014
  • Application for ISTT registration awards deadline June 30, 2014
  • Awards to be communicated by July 15, 2014
  • Early Bird registration fee deadline July 31, 2014
  • Standard Rate registration fee from August 1, 2014
  • Late & On-Site Rate registration fee from September 22, 2014

As it is stated in the TT2014 meeting home page: “Scotland prides itself on both its life science research and the warm welcome given to visitors and looks forward to hosting TT2014“. Therefore, on behalf of the ISTT and of the TT2014 Organising Committee we invite you all to attend to the TT2014 meeting.

See you all in Edinburgh!

The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA

ISTT booth: The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA
ISTT booth: The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to attend, once again, the annual (64th) AALAS National Meeting, being held this time in Baltimore, MD, USA, on October 27-31, 2013. The ISTT booth has been organized by Melissa Larson (University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA) ISTT member and official representative of the ISTT before AALAS. The ISTT is proud to be an AALAS Affiliate Organizations since 2009, and, since then, our Society has been attending and supporting all AALAS annual meetings organized. ISTT members Jan Parker-Thornburg (MDACC, Houston, TX, USA) and Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Res. Center, Buffalo, NY, USA) are helping Melissa to organize and run this Society’s booth.

If you are attending the AALAS meeting in Baltimore, please come by to visit us and bring us your colleagues who might be interested in joining our Society. As an exceptional end of year 2013 promotion, any new member joining now will be provided immediate ISTT member benefits and granted 2014 ISTT membership. Information regarding ISTT activities, ISTT membership benefits and conditions and regarding our next (12th) Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2014), to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on October 6-8, 2014 will be provided at the ISTT booth. Thanks for visiting us at the 64th AALAS national meeting in Baltimore!

Workshop report: animals bred, but not used in experiments

Workshop:  “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)
Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands.

Experiments in biomedical science use large numbers of laboratory animals. It is a fact that to provide these animals, regularly more animals are bred than are finally used in the experiments planned. The Ministry of Economic Affairs as the competent body of the Netherlands had asked Prof. Coenraad Hendriksen and Dr. Jan-Bas Prins to organize a workshop to identify the reasons for the breeding of surplus animals and to devise recommendations as to how the number of animals that are bred but not used can be reduced to a minimum.

A number of experts from different fields of laboratory animal science were invited for a two day workshop to the Hotel Duin & Kruidberg in Santpoort, a town close to Amsterdam, to discuss these issues and to develop a paper for the Dutch authorities. Obviously, many of the laboratory animals bred are genetically altered (GA) animals. Moreover, techniques to cryopreserve GA animal lines could be a means to reduce the number of animals that are bred. The invitation was therefore extended to the ISTT to send a representative to take part in this workshop.

Here, I will give a short summary of the topics that have been discussed and of the outcomes. However, I refer you to the final report of the workshop, parts of which have been developed within individual small workgroups and will be put together into a final document by the kind efforts of Coenraad and Jan-Bas. I will inform you immediately upon the publication of this report.

A topic central to the discussion was the identification of reasons for the production of animals that are then not used in experiments. A major reason for this is the production of unwanted sexes and unwanted genotypes. The participants agreed that good planning can considerably reduce the number of surplus animals. At the same time, resources can be saved and either used for additional experiments or for cost reduction. However, breeding schemes with multiple alleles, as well as the organization of a facility, can be complex. A strong need for counseling as well as education of users of laboratory animals was identified, to make them competent to plan accordingly. The centralization of the breeding colonies under the responsibility of the facility management was discussed as a possibility to streamline breeding strategies. On the other hand, for the time being, this does not seem to be feasible for very many facilities. Local Animal Welfare Committees should evaluate local SOPs and develop a catalogue of best practices to help keep surplus animals to a minimum. GA animal lines should be cryopreserved immediately after their creation when there is no need to breed extra animals for this purpose and when animals from test rederivations can be used for experiments or for the breeding colony. Thereby, the lines are protected from disaster and from genetic drift at the same time, live mice can be terminated at any time, and the lines can be easily shipped to collaborators. Lines should be made available to collaborators as early as possibly to avoid generating the same line at different places. In case expertise for cryopreservation is lacking, lines can be donated to repositories like EMMA where they are cryopreserved free of charge. Investigators should always consider sharing lines with the scientific community through such repositories.

A second important topic discussed during the workshop was the use of new technologies for the generation of GA animals as well as for their experimental analysis. New lines should be directly generated on the desired background. In case backcrossing is needed, speed congenic strategies should be used to reduce the number of animals needed during that process. Technologies utilizing the targeting of nucleases to the locus of interest (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPER/Cas9) promise to eventually allow the generation of GA lines with reduced numbers of animals directly on the desired background. Complex strategies for the generation of customized animals for specific experiments were presented. It was agreed that these should be freely available. However, individual scientists and institutes should evaluate whether it is worth adopting a new and complicated technique. Since the process of setting up complex protocols may well lead to the use of high numbers of animals, investigators should consider collaborating with colleagues who perform similar experiments at large scales.

Ethical considerations let us come to the understanding that there is an intrinsic value of life. We found that it is for this reason that it is morally wrong to kill more animals than absolutely necessary. Biomedical science is tasked with producing answers to pressing questions on the molecular functions of life and disease and finding new cures. It was pointed out that the principles of the 3R’s have to be respected at all times, but a number of animal experiments are indispensable. In this context, it is unavoidable to breed animals that are not used for these experiments, but it is important to ensure that their numbers are kept to a minimum.

Boris Jerchow
Member of ISTT’s Executive Council
October 23, 2013

List of participants and affiliations, excluding those who were unable to send permission for disclosure:

van der Broek, Frank, NVWA, The Netherlands; Aleström, Peter, The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform, Norway; Benavides, Fernando, University of Texas, USA*; Bussell, James, Wellcom Trust Sanger Institute, UK*; Chrobot, Nichola, MRC Harwell, UK; van Es, Johan, Hubrecht University, The Netherlands; Fentener van Vlissingen, Martje, Erasmus MC, The Netherlands; Hendriksen, Coenraad, InTraVacc, The Netherlands; Hohenstein, Peter, Roslin Intitute, UK*; Krimpenfort, Paul, NKI, The Netherlands; Morton, David, UK; Prins, Jan-Bas, LUMC, The Netherlands; Raspa, Marcello, EMMA, Italy*; Tramper, Ronno, Consultant, The Netherlands; van der Valk, Jan, NKCA; Wilbertz, Johannes, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden*; Ohl, Frauke, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Pool, Chris, KNAW, The Netherlands; Witler, Lars, Max-Planck Institute Mol. Gen., Berlin, Germany*.

* ISTT members

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)
Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Janet Rossant will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh

Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)
Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to award the 10th ISTT Prize to Professor Janet Rossant, Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, Chief of Research at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University Professor at the University of Toronto; Deputy Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network; and Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics / Gynaecology and Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. The ISTT Prize is given to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. As a world leader in developmental biology, and someone who has made seminal contributions to our field, Professor Janet Rossant will receive the award at the next Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2014), which will be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) on October 6-8, 2014.

In awarding this prize to Dr. Rossant, the ISTT Prize committee acknowledges her many fundamental contributions to the science and technology of manipulating early pre-implantation mouse embryos and their instrumental role in our current understanding of mouse genetics and developmental biology. Her work on embryonic stem cell biology, blastocyst-derived cell lineages, and the mechanisms of cell-fate decisions in the early mouse embryo have been fundamental in deciphering how embryo-derived stem cells can be maintained and differentiated. Furthermore, her personal contributions in all of these areas have facilitated the development of the mouse transgenesis tools and methods used daily by many ISTT members.

Along with her active participation in many other related scientific and educational events, the ISTT Prize committee wishes to highlight Dr. Rossant’s most generous dedication to the dissemination of mouse transgenesis techniques among young scientists and technologists, through her pivotal role in the organization of the Great Lakes Mammalian Developmental Biology Meeting series in Toronto for more than thirty-five years, and her participation in the two classical CSHLP videos on techniques of mouse transgenesis (1989) and ES cells (1993), still regularly used today, and available as digital videos from the ISTT web site for its members.

Dr. Rossant was among the few pioneers who established, mastered and disseminated the technique of introducing targeted mutations into genes using mouse ES cells, leading to the generation of knockout mice and using them both to understand fundamental developmental processes and as animal models of human disease. Dr. Rossant’s interest in following the progression of mouse development from embryo to adulthood has led her to study stem cells from which individual tissues are derived during development. Her current research interests are focused on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. Her interests in the early embryo have increased our understanding of the trophectoderm, and the discovery of a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell. Her current goal is to understand the genetic and cellular networks involved in blastocyst formation. By understanding how normal mammalian development occurs, she aims to understand how to regulate pluripotency using human ES or iPS cells in future therapeutical applications.

Dr. Rossant was born in Chatham (UK) in 1950. She obtained her B.A. and M.A. in Zoology at the University of Oxford, UK, in 1972, followed by her PhD in Developmental Biology in 1976 at the University of Cambridge, UK, working in Richard Gardner’s laboratory. While she was an undergraduate student in Oxford she attended a few courses taught by John Gurdon and became fascinated by developmental biology. Since 1977 she has been working in Canada, first at Brock University in St Catharines as an Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, where she was appointed Professor in 2001. Since 1985 she has been working in Toronto, first at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, until 2005, and then at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she now leads her research group.

In addition to being awarded the 10th ISTT Prize for Transgenic Technologies at the TT2014 meeting by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many other awards, including the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research (Canada’s most prestigious health research award), the Excellence in Science Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the National Cancer Institute of Canada /Eli Lilly Robert L. Noble Prize for excellence in cancer research, and the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She has twice been named a Howard Hughes International Scholar, and is a recipient of the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists. She is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.

Her highly prolific career includes over 340 publications, including some milestone achievements in the fields of early mouse embryogenesis and stem cell biology.

Her first few papers, dating from 1975, already addressed what would be a recurrent research topic in her career, namely, investigating the cell-fate determination of the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts, from which embryonic stem cells are derived. She worked with Andrzej K. Tarkowski, the pioneer in producing mouse chimeras, and published with him a 1976 Nature paper on the development of haploid mouse blastocysts from bisected zygotes. She worked in 1979 with Richard Gardner, another pioneering researcher in pre-implantation embryos, investigating the cell fate of inner cell mass cells. Her studies resulted in the completely normal development of interspecific chimeras in mammals in 1980, using two species of mice. Since the early 1980s she showed an interest in the trophectoderm cell lineage and its relevance in mammalian pre-implantation embryos and in the generation of the placenta and other extra-embryonic cell lineages. Since then she has collaborated with many other key scientists in the fields of mouse transgenesis, mouse embryogenesis and stem cells, including V. Papaioannou, R. Balling, A. McLaren, A. Bernstein, A. Nagy, A. Joyner, W. Skarnes, A. Gossler, KS. Zaret, TW. Mak, A. Pawson, A. McMahon, R. Jaenisch, EM. DeRobertis, P. Soriano, D. Melton, R. Kemler, P. Avner, S. Yamanaka and Q. Zhou, among many others, and has contributed extensively in the areas of mammalian vascular development, trophoblast-derived cell lineages, and early mouse embryogenesis, as well as in the development of large-scale collaborations such as the International Gene Trap Consortium, The International Knockout Mouse Consortium, and the International Stem Cell Initiative, for establishing benchmarks for human stem cell research. Dr. Janet Rossant is also the current President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Dr. Rossant joins the list of previously awarded scientists with the ISTT Prize, consisting of (in descending chronological order): Allan Bradley (2013), Ralph L. Brinster (2011), A. Francis Stewart (2010), Brigid Hogan (2008), Charles Babinet (2007), Andras Nagy (2005), Qi Zhou (2004), Kenneth J. McCreath (2002), Teruhiko Wakayama (2001). All ISTT Prize winners are given Honorary Membership in the ISTT and a unique sculpture representing a silver mouse blastocyst created by the Hungarian artist Mr. Béla Rozsnyay.

The ISTT Prize Committee includes the ISTT President and Vice-President, the CEO of genOway (the company generously sponsoring the award), and previous ISTT Prize awardees.

Selected references from Janet Rossant’s lifetime achievements:

Download the 10th ISTT Prize press release to be awarded to Janet Rossant

Additional sources of information for Janet Rossant’s biography:

 

 

Vitrification of unfertilized mouse oocytes and their efficient use for in vitro fertilization

Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization. New vitrification method by Naomi Nakagata's laboratory at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan).
Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization. New vitrification method by Naomi Nakagata’s laboratory at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan).

The laboratory of Prof. Naomi Nakagata at CARD-University of Kumamoto (Japan) has achieved a new milestone in mouse cryopreservation techniques. After boosting the efficiencies of mouse in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) from fresh, refrigerated and, particularly, frozen sperm from C57BL/6J mice, they have focused their attention in establishing a robust, reproducible but simple and efficient method for cryopreserving unfertilized mouse oocytes using vitrification, and their subsequent use for IVF. Their results have just been published in Cryobiology:

Applications of cryopreserved unfertilized mouse oocytes for in vitro fertilization.
Nakagata N, Takeo T, Fukumoto K, Kondo T, Haruguchi Y, Takeshita Y, Nakamuta Y, Matsunaga H, Tsuchiyama S, Ishizuka Y, Araki K.
Cryobiology. 2013 Oct;67(2):188-92.

The vitrification and thawing of unfertilized oocytes was one of the methods taught by the Nakagata-team, for the first time abroad, at the most recent CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, held in Madrid two weeks ago. The efficient cryopreservation of unfertilized metaphase-II oocytes had remained a challenging procedure for investigators. Unfertilized oocytes are fragile germ cells that do not have nuclear membrane. However, these are most relevant cells and the ones to be used for somatic cell nuclear-transfer (SCNT), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and, in particular, for in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. Standard available vitrification methods failed to work, reproducibly, with unfertilized oocytes, whereas similar methods were routinely used with fertilized oocytes, for the efficient production of transgenic mice by pronuclear microinjection.

In 2013, a first report by Kohaya et al., described the generation of live offspring from vitrified C57BL/6J mouse oocytes for the first time. Now, Nakagata et al., show us in their most recent publication the efficient use of vitrified mouse unfertilized oocytes for their routine application to IVF techniques, in combination with fresh, refrigerated and frozen sperm, with high success. The resulting 2-cell embryos obained were transferred to recipients and also gave rise to pups at high rates. The popularization of these vitrification methods for unfertilized oocytes will enable a more efficient planification for IVF sessions. Using the stock of vitrified unfertilized oocytes, IVFs can be programmed daily, and should not be limited to the strict superovulation schedules that usually result in IVFs done only once (on Thursday) or twice (Tuesday and Thursday) per week.

 

CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course Report

Organizers, instructors, lecturers and participants at the CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course, held at CNB-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, on 7-11 October 2013 and organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
Organizers, instructors, lecturers and participants at the CARD-CNB Cryopreservation Course, held at CNB-CSIC in Madrid, Spain, on 7-11 October 2013 and organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)

This past week, 7-11 October 2013, the CARD-CNB Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course was held at CNB-CSIC, in Madrid, Spain, with great success and accompanied with also great sunny weather. This was the first cryopreservation course of this kind, co-organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-University of Kumamoto, Japan) and Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain), were the newest methods developed by CARD, at the Nakagata lab, were demonstrated in Europe, directly by the CARD team. The instructors at this CARD-CNB course were commanded by the CARD-University of Kumamoto team, from Japan (Toru Takeo, Kiyoko Fukumoto, Tomoko Kondo, Yukie Haruguchi, Yumi Takeshita, Yuko Nakamuta and Shuuji Tsuchiyama), and additional help and collaboration was provided from the Mouse Biology Program at UC-Davis, CA, USA (Kristy Kinchen), from INIA, Madrid, Spain (Raúl Fernández), from CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain (Jesús Martínez), from USA (Jorge Sztein), from Paratechs, Lexington, KY, USA (Barbara Stone) and from CNB-CSIC (Julia Fernández, María Jesús del Hierro, Marta Castrillo and Isabel Martín-Dorado), for several of the methods demonstrated. All instructors must to be praised for their deep knowledge, patience and extraordinary dedication and commitment towards the success of this course. Complementary and most interesting lectures were provided on a wide variety of topics related to the course main focus, including: animal welfare and regulations by Belén Pintado and Jorge Guillén; the history, fundaments and comparison of methods by Jorge Sztein; the effects of the in vitro culture of mouse embryos by Alfonso Gutiérrez-Adán; safety and handling issues of liquid nitrogen by Jesús Martínez; shipping frozen and refrigerated materials by Toru Takeo, databases in a cryopreservation lab, by Shuuji Tsuchiyama, about EMMA by Lluis Montoliu and CARD by Naomi Nakagata, as examples of mouse embryo and sperm archives, and, also, on the new editing nucleases for genome modification, by Kai Schönig (Mannheim, Germany), a talk sponsored by Sigma.

As many as 24 participants, coming from research institutions or companies located in 16 countries around the world (UK, Spain, Australia, USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Brazil, Finland, France, Denmark, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Italy and Taiwan) were presented with the latest advances in mouse sperm and embryo cryopreservation and all associated mouse reproductive biology ancillary techniques.

The topics covered by the course included the following major areas: obtaining sperm from mouse cauda epididymis, obtaining unfertilized mouse oocytes, three different types of in vitro fertilization techniques (using fresh, frozen or refrigerated sperm), vitrification of unfertilized oocytes and 2-cell embryos (freezing and thawing), slow-method for freezing and thawing 2-cell embryos, refrigerated sperm and 2-cell embryos, abdominal and scrotal vasectomies, three types of embryo transfer (oviduct, uterus and non-surgical, with NSET tools), freezing and thawing mouse sperm and ICSI, among many additional common methodologies used to handle mouse embryos and gametes adequately.

The course was very intensive, but the kind atmosphere created by participants and instructors was excellent and, hence, all the tight and carefully devised demonstrations and practices, packed within a very busy schedule, could be run smoothly and successfully without problems. The vast experience in running this type of cryopreservation courses and the remarkable professionality of our colleagues from CARD-University of Kumamoto were key for the accomplished success. All methods followed their three-step learning process. At first, the theory and fundaments were briefly provided and summarized. Then, the method was demonstrated by instructors and, finally, the participants executed the procedures by themselves, with the help of instructors.

The participants left this cryopreservation course to return to their countries and institutions with the most satisfactory results obtained and with plenty of new information to digest, process and reproduce. All participants were given the task to spread the word and disseminate the use of these highly efficient and robust cryopreservation techniques that have boosted the field.

This CARDCNB cryopreservation course was sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) and received the co-sponsorship and support from a number of companies whose contributions need to be greatly acknowledged as well: Leica, Charles River, Sigma, Labotect, Cosmo-Bio, Kyudo, Harlan and Paratechs.