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Cord Blood Goes Missing

Where are my child's stem cells?

That's what 200-300 Dutch parents were asking when they discovered Cryo-Save was on the brink of bankruptcy and had transferred their children's umbilical cord cells long-term cryo storage to the PBKM FamiCord Group in Poland. A FamiCord representative confirmed that 2% of approximately 230,000 clients’ samples did not arrive at the laboratories. Cryo-Save now faces a transplant law investigation in response to transporting these samples without the client's consent. READ MORE

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Heart Preservation Breakthrough

The ULiSSESTM device won the 2019 grand prize for the "Create the Future" Design Contest, an annual competition hosted by Tech Briefs Media Group and has now been put to the test. Developed over decades by teams at the Univerisity of Austin and Vascular Perfusion Solutions, this device could increase the transportation time of donor's hearts and other vital organs from 4 hours to 24 hours. 

The ability to preserve donor organs for 24 hours would revolutionize organ transplants, creating an opportunity for organs to be transported around the world. With five successful 24-hour trials on pig heart preservation and one dog heart preservation, the next ULiSSESTM trials will involve pig heart transplants with a goal to move into human trials by 2021. READ MORE

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.

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Call for 2023 Meeting Locations

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SLTB Report

Written by Estefania Paredes (University of Vigo, ES), Dominic Olver (University of Saskatchewan, CA), Peter Kilbride (Asymptote Ltd., UK)
The Society for Low Temperature Biology annual meeting took place in the sunny and welcoming city of Seville (Spain) for its 55th edition in October 2-4th, 2019. The meeting started with a workshop in collaboration with the Stem User group (SCUG) and the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced therapies.

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British Woman Survives 6 Hours After Cardiac Arrest

A recent hiking trip turned frigid after thirty-four-year-old Audrey Schoeman and her husband Rohan got caught in a snowstorm in the Pyrenees mountain range, Spain. Rohan called emergency services after Schoeman passed out. 

Dr. Jordi Riera and the team at Vall d'Hebron explained that Schoeman's extreme and rapid cooling to 18°C, causing her cardiac arrest, also slowed her brain metabolism which allowed the organs to better cope with the lack of oxygen. The team used an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to keep her alive. Warming up slowly, Schoeman regained consciousness 6 hours after her cardiac arrest. Despite some loss of sensitivity in her hands, Schoeman has made a full recovery and returned home. Read the full article. 

This "miracle" is the sort of biological phenomenon the team at the University of Maryland is attempting to duplicate with acute trauma victims. Read more...




First HIV Positive Sperm Bank Opened

Just before World Aids Day on December 1st, New Zealand just became the first country to establish a sperm bank called Sperm Positive for HIV positive donors who have a consistently undetectable viral load. Damien Rule-Neal, one of the first donors, said: "I want people to know life doesn't stop after being diagnosed with HIV and that it is safe to have children if you're on treatment." Read the full article HERE.

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First Human Placed in Suspended Animation

A team of medics at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine have announced their first attempt at placing a human in suspended animation. The Federal Drug Administration approved the team for 10 trials where a patient will be rapidly cooled to 10-15 °C by replacing their blood with ice-cold saline, ceasing nearly all brain activity. Hypothetically, medical professionals then have up to 2 hours to operate before the "suspended" patient is rewarmed and their heart started again. The team's trial procedure officially called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR), is only allowed to be trialed on acute trauma victims (i.e. gunshot or stab wounds) who have already suffered cardiac arrest and have less than a 5% survival rate.
Read the full article HERE.

Health & Safety - Liquid Nitrogen Injuries Continue

 
A woman in Florida, USA, nearly died in October 2019 after ingesting a drink with liquid nitrogen. Ms. Stacey Wagers saw a waiter pour a liquid onto another patron's dessert, giving it a neat "smoky" effect. The waiter poured some of the same liquid into Wager's glass of water after her friend commented on the cool effect. Wager became immediately and violently ill, resulting in her gall bladder and parts of her stomach being removed. Read more...

2019 Election

2019 Elections

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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.