Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

April 11th, 2014
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Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

Laboratory Course on Cryopreservation of Mouse Germplasm, Monterotondo, Italy, 20-24 October 2014

The Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) offer a comprehensive course on cryopreservation of mouse embryos, sperm and ovaries. This Course is financially supported by the European Union FP7 Capacities Specific Program, through the Infrafrontier-I3. The 2014 Edition of this traditional annual cryopreservation EMMA-JAX course is planned for 20-24 October 2014, organized by ISTT Member Marcello Raspa and his collaborators at CNR-EMMA Campus and with the participation of various faculty members, including Robert Taft and Jane Farley, from JAX; Ferdinando Scavizzi and Raffaele Matteoni, from CNR; Susan Marschall, from Munich; Martin Fray, from Harwell; Lluis Montoliu, from Madrid; and Kent Lloyd, from UC Davis, USA.

The 2014 edition of this course will be organized in memory of Stanley P. Leibo – Course leader 1999-2013.

The course is offered to teach methods in cryopreservation for banking of various strains of mice used in research, including inbred, transgenic and knock-out strains. Several methods of cryopreservation are now available and because no single method is adequate for all the various strains of mice being developed, a variety of methods are taught. The course is designed primarily as a “hands-on” laboratory program in which participants learn techniques for the cryopreservation of cleavage-stage embryos, spermatozoa and ovaries. Techniques include: embryo “two-step” equilibrium freezing in plastic straws, embryo non-equilibrium “ultra-rapid” cooling or “vitrification” in straws and sperm freezing and recovery of frozen sperm by in vitro fertilization. In addition, general principles of cryobiology, development of inventory databases for individual programs, and adaptation of long-term storage systems and cryogenic equipment for different situations will be presented and discussed.

Enrollment is limited to 10 participants and early application is advised. This Course is financially supported by the EU FP7 Capacities Specific Program, through the Infrafrontier-I3.

Course Fees (Fees do not include participant’s travel and lodging):

European Union’s and Associated Countries’ nationals:

  • Academic or Non-Profit Institutions: Euro 400.00
  • Other Institutions: Euro 950.00

Other Countries’ nationals:

  • Academic or Non-Profit Institutions: Euro 900.00
  • Other Institutions: Euro 1,200.00

Deadline for applications: September 10, 2014
Download here the Course application form

Course information:
Marcello Raspa, Ferdinando Scavizzi, Raffaele Matteoni
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development
INFRAFRONTIER I3
e-mail: mraspa@emma.cnr.it

Course secretariat:
Giuliana Boera, Teresa Cuccurullo
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
EMMA-Monterotondo Campus International Development
INFRAFRONTIER I3
e-mail: cuccurullo@ibc.cnr.it

CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15th-19th, 2014

March 31st, 2014
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CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15-19, 2014

CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Course, Buffalo, NY, USA, September 15-19, 2014

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) has agreed to co-sponsor another CARD Cryopreservation Course. This time, for the first time, the CARD methods will be taught in North America: the CARD-RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Practical Course will be held at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, NY USA. The course will be held September 15th-19th, 2014, and will be a hands-on intensive workshop.

The course is organized by Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan, Coordinator of CARD), Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA, Co-Director of the Gene Targeting and Transgenic Resource) and Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson, Houston, TX, USA, Director of the Genetically Engineered Mouse Facility).

This course is open to anyone interested. Pre-application will be required, including, at least, a recent CV, completion of this application questionnaire, and a letter prepared by the intended participant describing how the applicant will benefit by attending this course and how relevant is the course material to his/her work. Additional documents are welcome, at the discretion of participants, including supporting letters by supervisors (where appropriate), reference letters, etc… Pre-applications should be submitted by email to: buffalo_card_cryocourse@transtechsociety.org

The maximum number of participants attending this course will be 18, distributed among countries and institutions, and according the documentation provided and the interests expressed. Pre-applications will be accepted starting April 1st, 2014 and will close on May 31st, 2014. The review and selection of participants will be done by the Organizers from June 1st-15th, 2014. Registrations and payments for selected participants will be accepted from June 16th, 2014 to August 31st, 2014. If required, an ordered waiting list will be prepared and any cancellation or unpaid registration by August 31st, 2014 will be readily substituted by the first available person from this waiting list, starting on September 1st, 2014.

The course registration fee is $1300 USD (with a reduced fee of $1100 USD for ISTT members). This fee includes participation in the entire course, all materials and reagents, lunches over the 5 days and one course official dinner. Hotel costs are not included in the registration fee but booking assistance will be provided, if required, at a hotel on Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s campus, where all instructors and lecturers will be also lodged, hence further promoting interaction from breakfast to dinner. The official language of the course will be English.

COURSE INFORMATION: Recent developments from the laboratory of Prof. Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan) have boosted the mouse cryopreservation field with improved methods for fresh and frozen sperm techniques and associated optimized IVF methods that have resulted in unparalleled increased efficiencies for the cryopreservation and rescue of relevant mouse lines.

The aim of this course is to introduce the new CARD methods to researchers and technicians involved in managing mouse archiving and/or transgenic facilities and willing to implement these new methods, directly taught by the team which devised them. Each participant will have one stereomicroscope and the entire set of tools, reagents and animals required to learn and practice all the methods included in the program of this course. In addition to practical sessions, the course will also include several lectures of related interesting topics for the participants delivered by experts in each field. The number of instructors and lecturers appointed is 17.

Hands-on topics that will be covered during this cryopreservation course:

  • Isolating unfertilized mouse oocytes
  • Isolating and cold storage/shipping of mouse cauda epididymis
  • Isolating and cold storage of embryos
  • Freezing/thawing mouse sperm and IVF using CARD frozen sperm and legacy sperm
  • Fresh mouse sperm and IVF
  • Cold Storage sperm and IVF
  • Freezing/thawing 2-cell IVF-derived mouse embryos
  • Vitrification of mouse oocytes and embryos
  • IVF of vitrified mouse oocytes
  • Ovary transplantation/ovary freezing
  • Embryo transfer techniques in mice (oviduct, uterus via NSET)

Additional lectures on the following topics:

  • Historic and Scientific perspectives of embryo and sperm cryopreservation
  • Comparing current embryo and sperm cryopreservation methods
  • Vitrification of oocytes and their use for IVF
  • New US Guidelines for the use of animals in research/IACUC
  • Cold storage and transport of germplasm
  • Large archiving and distribution centers- challenges and solutions
  • Shipping mice, refrigerated and frozen material
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Freezing and transplantation of ovaries
  • NSET: non-surgical embryo transfer
  • Breeding strategies for cohort generation of GEM’s
  • CARD

Instructors:

  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Shuuji Tsuchiyama (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Kiyoko Fukumoto (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yukie Haruguchi (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Tomoko Kondo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yumi Takeshita (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Yuko Nakamuta (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Tomoko Umeno (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Jan Parker-Thornburg (MD Anderson, Houston, TX, USA)
  • Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Dawn Barnas (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Amar Dasani (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)
  • Andrea Dunn (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)
  • Kristy Williams (USA)
  • Barbara Stone (ParaTechs, Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Jorge Sztein (Barcelona, Spain)

Additional lectures by:

  • Naomi Nakagata (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Toru Takeo (CARD-Kumamoto University, Japan)
  • Sandra Sexton (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA)
  • Jorge Sztein (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Barbara Stone (ParaTechs, Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Lluis Montoliu (CNB-CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Carlisle Landel (Transposagen Inc., Lexington, KY, USA)
  • Amar Dasani (Taconic, Germantown, NY, USA)

In memoriam: Stanley Leibo

March 25th, 2014
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Stanley Leibo in Rome, October 2013, at the official dinner of the annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course in Monterotondo, Italy (Photograph kindly provided by Jane Farley)

Stanley Leibo in Rome, October 2013, at the official dinner of the annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course in Monterotondo, Italy (Photograph kindly provided by Jane Farley)

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Stanley Leibo, who died this morning, March 25, in the USA. Stanley Leibo was Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of New Orleans, LA, USA. On behalf of the ISTT, we wish to offer our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Stanley Leibo was a renowned authority in cryobiology and one of the pioneers in the cryopreservation of mammalian germplasm. His seminal publication in Science in 1972, in collaboration with Peter Mazur and David Whittingham, described the first, successful cryopreservation of mammalian embryos, demonstrating the recovery of live pups from mouse embryos that had been stored in liquid nitrogen and liquid helium. His scientific work laid the foundation for the current widespread use of cryopreservation by human fertility clinics, agriculture, scientific resource repositories, and conservation efforts preserving endangered species. In addition to his outstanding scientific contributions, Stanley Leibo will be remembered for the joy and passion he brought to teaching. He was a fixture from the beginning in the Jackson Laboratory’s Cryopreservation Course, offered both in Bar Harbor and later also in partnership with EMMA in Monterotondo, Italy, where over the years hundreds of students, including many ISTT members,  had the pleasure of hearing his enthusiastic lectures on the history, theory and practice of cryopreserving mammalian cells and germplasm.

Stanley Leibo was a mentor for many of us, a colleague, and most of all, also a friend. We will not forget him. May he rest in peace.

ISTT council

P.S. Additional information from Stanley Leibo’s career and achievements can be obtained from this document, published in Reproduction, Fertiliy and Development, when he received the 2009 IETS Pioneer Award

Stanley Leibo with Marcello Raspa, in Monterotondo, November 2009, at the 10th anniversary of the EMMA-JAX annual cryopreservation course (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu).

Stanley Leibo with Marcello Raspa, in Monterotondo, November 2009, at the 10th anniversary of the EMMA-JAX annual cryopreservation course (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu).

Stanley Leibo with Martin Fray, at the 10th annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course in Monterotondo, Rome, Italy, in November 2009 (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu)

Stanley Leibo with Martin Fray, at the 10th annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course in Monterotondo, Rome, Italy, in November 2009 (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu)

Stanley Leibo's handwriting and drawings illustrating his passion for teaching. These were made on the paper tablecloth by himself, while explaining several concepts in cryobiology to other colleagues, during the official dinner of the last annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course, held in October 2013, in a restaurant in Rome (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu)

Stanley Leibo’s handwriting and drawings illustrating his passion for teaching. These were made on the paper tablecloth by himself, while explaining several concepts in cryobiology to other colleagues, during the official dinner of the last annual EMMA-JAX cryopreservation course, held in October 2013, in a restaurant in Rome (Photograph by Lluis Montoliu).

Stanley Leibo's lecture at the 50th anniversary of the Society for Cryobiology's Annual Meeting, in Washington, DC, USA, in July 2013. http://www.societyforcryobiology.org/cryo-2013

Stanley Leibo’s lecture at the 50th anniversary of the Society for Cryobiology’s Annual Meeting, in Washington, DC, USA, in July 2013. http://www.societyforcryobiology.org/cryo-2013

Contemporary Topics in Zebrafish Husbandry and Care

March 21st, 2014
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Contemporary Topics in Zebrafish Husbandry and Care

Contemporary Topics in Zebrafish Husbandry and Care

Registration is now open for a new transgenic training event “Contemporary Topics in Zebrafish Husbandry and Care“. This full day of talks, with poster & discussion sessions will provide an up to date overview of research into good zebrafish welfare, husbandry and care. The event will be of broad interest to anyone working with zebrafish, including animal technologists and care staff, research scientists, facility managers, and veterinarians

Topics will include:

  • good practice in facility management
  • the 3Rs and colony management
  • an overview of larval rearing practices
  • environmental enrichment
  • a tips ‘n’ tricks session, with selected short presentations.

The meeting is being held in central London on Monday 19th May 2014, and is limited to 100 places allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration (including lunch) will cost £55, with IAT and LASA CPD points available to individuals with current membership. Participants are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts relevant to the meeting topic areas for consideration as either a poster or short oral presentation. For more information see the meeting advert or email GA@rspca.org.uk putting ‘zebrafish workshop’ in the title field.

To register and book your place at the meeting click here.

The new (2014) FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units have been released as open access document from Laboratory Animals journal web page

March 5th, 2014
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The new (2014) FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units have been released as open access document from Laboratory Animals journal web page

The new (2014) FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units have been released as open access document from Laboratory Animals journal web page

The new (2014) FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit colonies in breeding and experimental units have been released as open access document from Laboratory Animals journal web page. This updated reference document has been prepared by the FELASA working group on revision of guidelines for health monitoring of rodents and rabbits, formed by Michael Mähler (Convenor, GV-SOLAS), Marion Bérard (AFSTAL), Ricardo Feinstein (Scand-LAS), Alec Gallagher (LASA), Brunhilde Illgen-Wilcke (SGV), Kathleen Pritchett-Corning (AALAS) and Marcello Raspa (AISAL and ISTT Member). The previous and up-to-now current FELASA recommendations for the health monitoring of rodents and rabbits had been published in 2002 (Nicklas et al. 2002, Laboratory Animals). Therefore this new document, released in 2014, substitutes and updates the previous guidelines reported 12 years ago.

As it is stated in the abstract of this updated 2014 FELASA recommendations document: “These recommendations are aimed at all breeders and users of laboratory mice, rats, Syrian hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits as well as diagnostic laboratories. They describe essential aspects of health monitoring, such as the choice of agents, selection of animals and tissues for testing, frequency of sampling, commonly used test methods, interpretation of results and health monitoring reporting“. FELASA and, in particular, the co-authors of this compelling updated recommendations for health monitoring of rodents and rabbits need to be praised for this work. This document will not only help and contribute to the desired harmonization of the health monitoring programmes across animal facilities but also it will provide important elements for the correct preparation and interpretation of Health Monitoring results.

Advertising the TT2014 meeting from your institutions: put one of these Posters!

February 28th, 2014
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12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

The next ISTT meeting will be held in Europe this year. The 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, organized by ISTT members Douglas Strathdee (chair), Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw, and hosted by three 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. The TT2014 meeting will be followed by the 2-day hands-on workshop “An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis“, on 8-10 October 2014.

An outstanding group of invited speakers have confirmed their participation at the TT2014 meeting. Abstract submissions and application for the ISTT registration awards (for ISTT members) deadlines merge on 30 June 2014. Early bird registration deadline at reduced fees is 31 July 2014. A number of submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentation on topics including:

  • new technologies in transgenesis
  • pluripotential stem cells
  • targeted nucleases and genome editing
  • models of human disease
  • animal ethics and welfare
  • large-scale phenotyping initiatives
  • animal biotechnology
  • in vivo imaging
  • zebrafish models and transgenesis

Douglas Strathdee and his colleagues have prepared the following collection of eight Posters to advertise the TT2014 meeting, illustrated with beautiful Edinburgh pictures. Please, help us announcing and disseminating the TT2014 meeting by putting one or several of these Posters at your centres, institutions, facilities, departments, universities. The TT meeting is a unique forum occurring every 18 months where to discuss the latest technical developments and applications on animal transgenesis. This is a conference that can’t be missed by anyone interested in this subject! Thanks for helping us advertise the TT2014 meeting!

TT2014 Poster version 1

TT2014 Poster version 1

TT2014 Poster version 1 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 1 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 2 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 3

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TT2014 Poster version 3 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 3 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 4

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TT2014 Poster version 4 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 4 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5 (A4 format)
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TT2014 Poster version 6

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TT2014 Poster version 6 (A4 format)
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TT2014 Poster version 7

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TT2014 Poster version 7 (A4 format)
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TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 8 (A3 format)

A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

February 14th, 2014
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A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

The 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science, organized by Charles River, just closed in Strasbourg, France, after three days of interesting presentations and discussions at the intersection between animal welfare, animal experimentation, current guidelines and legislation, biomedical research from academia and industry and society perception on these topics. The Organizers should be praised for the selection and variety of topics, as well as for the smooth and pleasant running of the entire course, which included an enjoyable visit to an old typical cellar from the Alsace region along with a wine-testing Gala dinner.

Several ISTT members participated in this event, including organizers (Cyril Desvignes, Jean Cozzi), members of the steering committee (Johannes Wilbertz), invited speakers (Belén Pintado, Yann Herault, Ignacio Anegon, Lluís Montoliu), and participants (Marcello Raspa, Ferenc Erdelyi, Gabor Szabo,…) among other.

During this course, the recent EU Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used in research and its implication on the use of animals in biomedical research and policies throughout Europe was discussed, from different angles, by Magda Chlebus, Gill Fleetwood, Thierry Decelle, Patri Vergara and Belén Pintado. Topics covered included the new training courses and competencies to work with experimentation animals in Europe, the animal-welfare bodies and the current understanding of the 3R’s paradigm. Javier Guillén compared, side by side, the new EU Directive with the current Guide in the US and highlighted their many coincidences, suggesting that a combined use of both documents would be ideal for the adoption of successful animal care and use programs. Jan-Bas Prins, current president of FELASA, presented his view of the field of laboratory animal sciences, before the implementation of this new EU Directive, as an opportunity and a positive challenge to interface and exchange knowledge with many other players involved.

Health monitoring programs, rodent microbiologic surveillance, methods employed to detect all these pathogens robustly in laboratory animal facilities and the updated recommendations from FELASA, recently published in Laboratory Animals, were presented by William Shek, Guy Mulder, Stéphanie Durand and Axel Kornerup Hansen. Operational and technical aspects of animal facilities were discussed by Alberto Gobbi and Peter Dockx, whereas the issues related with occupational health and safety program evaluations were presented by Jann Hau.

Examples of the use of rodent animal models in biomedical research, in academia, by James Di Santo and Andrea Bertotti, as well as in the industry, by Joyce L. Young, were discussed. The importance of genetic quality in mouse research as well as the complexity of mouse genome and the impact of the genetic background on phenotypes was presented by Charles Miller and Lluís Montoliu, respectively. The procedures conducted at the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) as well as the challenges they encountered during the deployment of this impressively large enterprise were presented and discussed by Sara Wells and, by the local representative, Yann Herault, Director of the French Mouse Clinic, ICS, in Strasbourg, who delivered the closing talk.

The newest technologies in stem cell biology and animal transgenesis were also present at this 7th Short Course. Hongkui Deng summarized the most innovative approach he devised to prepare induced-pluripotent cells from somatic cells, using a cocktail of four chemicals, four molecules that mimicked the induction signals described by Shinya Yamanaka. The new logics for the production of targeted genetic modifications, using editing or engineered nucleases (Meganuclease, ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs) in mice and rats was presented by Ralf Kuehn and Ignacio Anegon, respectively.

The choice of rodent anaestesia protocols was discussed by Aurelie Thomas, whereas the various methods for euthanasia in rodents were presented by Huw Golledge. On the last day, Aurora Bronstad summarized the work done at the AALAS-FELASA joint working group on harm-benefit analysis, whereas Katrina Gore highlighted the need for more robust analytical procedures in research protocols involving animal experimentation, in order to optimize the rate of success of pre-clinical drugs.

In summary, the 7th Edition of this biennial Charles River Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Europe, attended by some 120 participants, was an excellent opportunity to update information related to animal welfare, EU legislation and transposition difficulties in various countries, newest technologies, mouse genomics and genetics, large mouse consortia and numerous important topics that are relevant for animal facility managers, researchers, veterinarians and anyone else interested in the best use of animals in experiments, according to current laws and recommendations.

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available to ISTT members through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

February 9th, 2014
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More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

One of the most important assets of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), is the amount of information on animal transgenesis accummulated through the archives of the ISTT_list and tg-l email lists. Currently, more than 27,000 messages are fully available to ISTT members, conveniently organized in searchable and dynamic archives. The traditional transgenic-list (tg-l), operative since 1996 and offered from the ISTT web server since the end of 2011, has distributed over 22,000 messages since then, whereas the ISTT_list, associated and born with our Society in 2006, has disseminated some 5,000 messages, discussing both lists on almost each and every topic, issue or situation related directly or indirectly with animal transgenesis. All this endless information resource is fully available to ISTT members, through powerful search engines. Non-ISTT members subscribing to tg-l have access only to the most recent messages distributed through the tg-l, using the simple search engine, which allows simple searches and outputs the 50 most recent messages discussed on the subject of interest. In contrast, ISTT members have access to more sophysticated searching engines and the output always contains all messages archived on the matter investigated.

Obtaining granted access to these rich sources of information is very easy and cheap. Simply apply for ISTT membership! Submit now your application to become a member of the ISTT and you will get immediate and full access to all these messages.

New ways of inducing pluripotency and additional applications for the CRISPR-Cas system

February 1st, 2014
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The CRISPR-Cas system for genome editing was launched in 2013 for applications in animal transgenesis and continues advancing in 2014

The CRISPR-Cas system for genome editing was launched in 2013 for applications in animal transgenesis and continues advancing in 2014

The first weeks of 2014 have generated interesting technical advances in animal transgenesis, and prestigious ISTT members have been involved in them. If this is just a sample of what will come next it would seem appropriate to call this starting 2014 year the wonder year. This past week we knew about a new manner for inducing pluripotency, simply exposing somatic cells to a low pH, using a physical stimulus, transiently applied during a short period of time. This acidic exposure appears to trigger the reprogramming steps required to convert somatic into fully capable pluripotent cells, sustenting the generation of germ-line transmitting chimeras. Furthermore, these STAP (Stimulus-Triggered Acquisition of Pluripotency) cells appear to be able to contribute to both the embryonic and extra-embryonic lineages, thus constituting a unique status of pluripotency.  These awesome two papers, by Haruko Obokata and collaborators, have been published in Nature, and include as co-author in one and senior corresponding author in the other, ISTT member Teruhiko Wakayama, the first scientist awarded the ISTT Prize.

Also last week we learnt about the first non-human knockout primates. A group of Chinese scientists (Yuyu Niu and collaborators), including the most prestigious centres involved in the generation of animal models in China, published a paper in Cell where they reported a new application for the powerful and novel CRISPR-Cas technology to produce mutant monkeys. They generated, for the first time, twin cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) with two targeted loci, Ppar-g and Rag1, in one single step. This collaborative work included as co-authors ISTT member and ISTT Prize awarded scientist Qi Zhou, as well as Xiaoyang Zhao, who received the first ISTT Young Investigator Award.  This achievement, which was not possible to date with standard technologies, illustrates the unlimited power of the CRISPR-Cas system.

We first learnt about the CRISPR-Cas system, as the responsible for adaptative bacterial immunity,  in mid 2012. But it was not until last year, 2013, when the molecular reagents become amenable and applicable for genome editing in animal cells and embryos, for the generation of a variety of genetically-modified animals, including all sorts of transgenic and mutant types, with an explosion of papers and applications. Today, 1st February 2014, as many as 88 papers appear listed in PubMed combining “CRISPR genome editing”. The amazing simplicity of this sytem, and the ease by which anyone can start using this technology in the lab, simply obtaining the two required plasmids (carrying the RNA guide, where the target homologous sequence must be engineered, and the Cas9 nuclease) from diverse providers, including Addgene, explains why the CRIRPR-Cas technology is now being considered a true revolution in our field, in animal transgenesis.

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

January 27th, 2014
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Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Dear ISTT members,

We are pleased to invite your proposals for hosting the 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) in February-March 2016. The updated ISTT bylaws, which were approved at the TT2013 meeting in China, now allow proposals to be received from anywhere in the world, without the requirement for a rotation between regions. Therefore, ISTT members from all continents are encouraged to consider hosting the TT2016 meeting in their city, with the support of their institution(s).

Please note that only ISTT members are entitled to submit proposals to host a TT meeting.

Important points to be addressed in any submitted proposal:

  1. The proposal must have the support of the hosting institution(s). Letters of support from the corresponding director(s) of organizing institution(s) must be provided.
  2. The hosting institution(s) are fully liable for the organization of the meeting, including all economic aspects.
  3. A proposed preliminary budget should be included in the proposal, along with suggested registration fees.
  4. A preliminary program for the TT2016 meeting, including topics (not necessarily speakers) and proposed workshops should be provided. This program should take into account the topics and speakers invited at previous TT meetings, avoiding unnecessary repetition. Full information regarding previous TT meetings organized is available at the members-only area, within the “meetings” tab.
  5. Proposed venue and dates for the TT2016 should be indicated. Exact sites and dates might be subjected to change later, if required, after obtaining the approval from the ISTT council. Information regarding the venue and/or the city where the TT2016 meeting would take place is always desirable as is proof that the venue will be available at the scheduled dates.
  6. Proposed committees should be presented, which should include at a minimum: Organizing Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee.
  7. A meeting Chair (who must be ISTT member) should be clearly identified.
  8. Since TT meetings are the most important activity of the ISTT, the President and other members of the ISTT Council have to be involved in committees and collaborate with local organizers in defining the final program.
  9. Upon selection, a contract will have to be signed between the hosting institution(s) and the ISTT
  10. Information regarding suggested accommodation facilities (and prices) for participants should be provided.
  11. The expected organization of a hands-on workshop on a selected topic, to take place immediately before or after the meeting, is always desirable.
  12. The involvement of a professional meeting organizer is desirable but not essential if there are viable alternatives, such as institutional meeting support staff.
  13. Information on accessibility of the city from international airports as well as between the conference venue and accommodation should be provided. A list of hotels close to the conference including price range is desirable.
  14. Finally, an outline of the proposed social activities should be included.

We look forward to receiving interesting proposals from all over the world. Please submit your proposal (ideally all information organized into a single PDF document) to istt@transtechsociety.org by Friday 27 June 2014. The evaluation committee might contact any proponent in order to request any additional/missing information that would be required to better assess the proposal. The selected venue will be announced by September 30, 2014, and the Chair of the selected proposal will be kindly invited to introduce the highlights of the TT2016 meeting at the closing ceremony of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

Thanks for your due consideration of this message,

Boris Jerchow
Jorge Sztein
Karen Brennan

ISTT Council sub-committee
in charge of evaluating TT2016 proposals


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