AETA President’s Report – Winter 2021

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Greetings,

I’d like to first introduce myself to those who don’t know me. I am a partner in White Oak Veterinary Clinic, PC, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. I have been a member of AETA for 10 years and certified since 2012.

I thank Matt Dorshorst, our immediate past president, for his excellent guidance through a difficult 2020 and our departing board members, Matt Iager and Kory Bigalk. Congratulations to Clay Breiner, who will serve as vice president, and Greg Schueller, who will serve as secretary-treasurer.

Besides the (hopefully) temporary challenges we face from the COVID-19 pandemic, our industry also faces some significant challenges in the near future. With the consolidation of the dairy industry and low beef prices, the traditional model of embryo transfer may be facing some challenges. Some people believe that the bovine embryo is becoming commoditized. My primary goal as president of the AETA this year will be to set the association on a path to help its members deal with these challenges. The high standards required by AETA certification are, I believe, a hedge against commoditization. Our industry, like many others, is changing and being disrupted by newer technology. We should not fear disruption, but instead find a way to adapt.

During our mid-winter board meeting, we will troubleshoot and brainstorm ways to meet these challenges. And if there are any issues you think the board should address, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Sincerely,

Bill Croushore

Letter from AETA Past President

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Published on: February 18, 2021

I have had the honor to work on your behalf for the last four years. This last year as your president has been a memorable one for me. I could not have managed the personal as well as professional challenges of 2020 without the support of the AETA board and our members. Thank you!

I made several observations while on the AETA board over the last year that were relevant as we dealt with the challenges of 2020. I suspect they are also important for success going forward. The AETA board functioned well because they listened patiently to a variety of ideas related to a problem or concept. As we made decisions, board members showed empathy and tolerance for the varied opinions expressed by their colleagues. The open-mindedness of the board to identify and adapt to challenges was impressive and made the virtual conference and other aspects of AETA business a success.

Although these characteristics served the 2020 board and the AETA well, I suspect they are important in all matters we face as individuals, businesses, families, and society. As we reflect on the year 2020, I hope we all consider the importance of listening with patience, showing empathy and tolerance, and adapting to change. Perhaps it will help make 2021 exactly what we are all hoping for.

Thank you again for the privilege to serve you.

Sincerely,

Matthew Dorshorst, MS, DVM

Dr. Joe Oden

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Dr. Joe Oden, AETA past president (1988–1989), sadly passed away on January 15, 2021.

Dr. James Spears shared that he recalled Oden assisting in administering the very first AETA certification exam in Louisville in 1984, with Oden administering Spears’ certification test. He also said that Oden was one of the first practitioners involved in ET at one of the first ET centers – Codding Reproductive Services in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Below is Dr. Oden’s obituary:

Joe “Dr. Joe” Oden was a man of deep, abiding strength and faith. His feet were firmly planted
on the earth and in the beauty of God’s creation while striving to have his eyes and heart set on the heavenly treasures awaiting him. Throughout his life, God guided him as he learned that the greatest treasures are to be found in the simplicity of God’s kingdom of love and mercy.

Joe was born and raised near Brownwood, Texas, with his older sister, the late Bettye Sue Oden
Connaway, and his adoring parents, also in Glory, Anson and Dorine McMurray Oden. Together they were a well-known and respected farming family in Brown County. Besides helping with farm chores and riding his favorite paint horse, Streak, Joe loved all kinds of sports that he excelled in throughout his school years at Brooksmith High School, graduating in 1959. He went on to attend Tarleton State in Stephenville, Texas, for two years, serving in the corps of cadets as a member of the Wayneright Rifle Squad drill team as well as having had the honor of marching in Washington D.C. for the inaugural parade of John F. Kennedy.

College Station is where he met, fell in love with, and married Marcia Ransom Oden, his sweetheart of 56 years. God gave them two children, Anson Joseph III (Trey) and Cindy Renee.

Joe went on to attend Texas A&M University (TAMU) to obtain a BS degree in agricultural education and then continued his graduate studies in education. He followed the call to continue on to TAMU Large Animal Veterinary School while in graduate school and was grateful to the many mentors along his way. Joe graduated from veterinary school in 1969. His interest in the science and practice of embryo transfer in cattle over the years took the family from Texas to Oklahoma and then for four years to the hills of Tennessee, where they all thrived in the beautiful, abundant gardens he created there with the family. Joe taught in both vet schools, TAMU and University of Tennessee.

They returned to Texas, where Joe was employed with Granada Land and Cattle Company for 10 years, glad to return to his home state and his family along with some truly wonderful friendships that he cherished. He then began his own embryo transfer business (Old Spanish Trail Genetics) with some of his colleagues. He served some time as president of the American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA), being one of the leaders and pioneers in the field of genetics.

He was a brilliant yet humble man and easy to love. In his later years, his time and attention turned toward family, golfing, and his home in Normangee, where he and Marcia were members of Sand Prairie Baptist Church. Naturally, Joe’s focus became more reflective seeking to know his Lord Jesus Christ in a deeper and richer way. His mealtime prayers were not to be missed, a window into a beautiful and peaceful heart.

Whether laboring for his father in the fields under a hot Texas sun, serving his family and friends with his quick-witted humor and hard, honest work ethic, or telling stories from his upbringing as a simple farm boy with lofty dreams, his life showed how one can attain to greatness in a worldly sense while quietly and steadily nurturing the seeds of eternal life and glory within. Thank you, Joe Oden, for walking this earth and making it brighter, funnier, and more real with every breath and every step.

Joe is survived by his adoring wife, Marcia Ransom Oden; their two children, Trey and Cindy, along with their spouses, Gynger and Jasper; as well as Gynger’s children, Kaylee and Kiley.

Joe had three grandsons, Zachary Oden, Samuel Oden Warren, and Nicolas Oden. He is also survived by Zach and Nic’s mother, Dawn Pisani Oden. Joe had one great-granddaughter, Aspen Jade Oden, through Zach and his wife, Sandra; by his nephew, John Connaway, and his wife, Laura, and their son, Brian Connaway, with his wife, Marla; Wanda Connaway, wife of his dear friend and brother-in-law, the late Delbert Connaway; cousin Katherine Newell and her husband, Phillip; Marva Brim, wife of the late Jim Brim, Joe’s dear friend and first cousin; Marcia’s brother, Henry Ransom, his wife, Jane, and their children: Jordan, with his wife, Stefani ,and their children, Nicole and Rachel Ransom; and Justin, with his wife, Stephanie, and their children, Bella and Eloise Ransom. He is also survived by numerous friends and loved ones from along his life journey. You know who you are. Thank you all for contributing to a life well lived.

https://www.hillierfuneralhome.com/tributes/Anson-JosephJoeOdenJr

Ask a question to an AETA certified ET practitioner

Categories: Catching Up, Practice Tips
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Published on: February 18, 2021

By Pat Comyn

Ask an ET-related question. An AETA-certified practitioner will answer!

Here’s one I asked Dr. Reuben Mapletoft to answer regarding proper or best thaw temperature for direct thaw (DT) embryos.

Question: Reuben, is there any data that support a 28 to 29°C thaw versus a 35 to 37°C thaw? I see that Japanese papers and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recommend 37°C. And how about a 5-s air thaw versus right in bath? It seems to me that cracked zona concerns are a question mark as it hopefully cracks anyhow.

Answer: You are correct; with a direct transfer a cracked zona is probably even preferred. The air thaw is only important for glycerol where it is important to be able to find the embryo.

We looked at several thaw temperatures between 25 and 35°C several years ago and found no difference in survival. I suppose you argue that perhaps you should be thawing near environmental temperature, but I think it is important to thaw quickly. Having said that, thaw rate to 0°C is probably the same for all temperatures, so then the thaw temperature really determines where it ends up.

Reuben J. Mapletoft

Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Western College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4 

Equine chorionic gonadotropin increases estradiol levels in the bovine oviduct and drives the transcription of genes related to fertilization in superstimulated cows

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Patricia K Fontes 1Eduardo M Razza 1Antônio G R Pupulim 2Ciro M Barros 1Anthony C de Souza Castilho 3

1Departament of Pharmacology, Institute of Biosciences, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

2Centro Universitário Cesumar (UNICESUMAR), Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.

3Universidade do Oeste Paulista (UNOESTE), Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31353672/

Mol Reprod Dev. 2019 Nov;86(11):1582-1591. doi: 10.1002/mrd.23243. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Abstract

In the bovine oviduct, estradiol (E2) stimulates secretion and cell proliferation, whereas progesterone (P4) suppresses them. In this study, we have evaluated the effect of two superstimulatory protocols (follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH] or FSH combined with equine chorionic gonadotropin [eCG]) on the oviductal levels of E2 and P4 and its outcome on oviductal cells. Compared with the control group (a single pre-ovulatory follicle), we have observed that the cows submitted to FSH/eCG treatment showed a higher concentration of E2 in the oviduct tissue, together with a higher abundance of messenger RNA encoding steroid receptors (ESR1 and progesterone receptor), and genes linked to gamete interactions and regulation of polyspermy (oviduct-specific glycoprotein 1, heat-shock protein family A member 5, α-l-fucosidase 1 [FUCA1], and FUCA2) in the infundibulum and ampulla segments of the oviduct. However, we did not observe any modulation of gene expression in the isthmus segment. Even though the FSH protocol upregulated some of the genes analyzed, we may infer that the steady effect of FSH combined with eCG on oviduct regulation might benefit fertilization and may potentially increase pregnancy rates.

Keywords: cattle; female reproductive tract; gametes; gene expression; steroids; superovulation.

Effect of superstimulation on the expression of microRNAs and genes involved in steroidogenesis and ovulation in Nelore cows

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Published on: February 18, 2021

P H Santos 1R A Satrapa 2P K Fontes 1F F Franchi 1E M Razza 1F Mani 3M F G Nogueira 4C M Barros 1A C S Castilho 5

1Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Institute of Biosciences, Campus Botucatu, Department of Pharmacology, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

2Universidade Federal do Acre (UFAC), Center of Biological and Natural Sciences, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil.

3Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Institute of Biosciences, Campus Botucatu, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

4Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), School of Sciences and Languages, Campus Assis, Department of Biological Sciences, Assis, São Paulo, Brazil.

5Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), School of Sciences and Languages, Campus Assis, Department of Biological Sciences, Assis, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: anthony@unoeste.br.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29407901/

Theriogenology 2018 Apr 1;110:192-200. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.12.045. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Abstract

To better understand the impact of ovarian superstimulation on bovine follicular microenvironment, Nelore cows (Bos taurus indicus) were subjected to ovarian superstimulation with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH, n = 10; P-36 protocol) or FSH combined with eCG (n = 10; P-36/eCG protocol). Follicular fluid was analyzed for cholesterol concentration. Granulosa cells were analyzed by RT-qPCR to assess the expression of genes involved in steroidogenic and ovulatory and expression of microRNAs involved in final follicular development and luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) expression. Plasma concentration of estradiol was also measured. Follicular fluid from the P-36 group showed higher concentration of cholesterol than that of control (non-superstimulated) cows. Plasma concentration of estradiol was higher in the P-36/eCG group. Abundance of STAR and FSHR mRNAs were lower in granulosa cells from the P-36/eCG group. In contrast, LHCGR mRNA abundance was higher in superstimulated granulosa cells from the P-36 group and showed a pattern opposite to that of miR-222 expression. Ovarian superstimulation did not affect the expression of other markers (mmu-miR-202-5p, has-miR-873, has-miR-144, and their target genes, CREB, TGFBR2, and ATG7) of antral follicle development. However, the mRNA expression of VEGF pathway components was modulated by P-36 treatment. Taken together, these results demonstrate that superstimulatory protocols modify steroidogenic capacity, increase plasma estradiol, and regulate the abundance of VEGF system, LHCGR mRNA and suppress the expression of miR-222 in bovine granulosa cells.

The incompletely fulfilled promise of embryo transfer in cattle—why aren’t pregnancy rates greater and what can we do about it?

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Peter J Hansen

Department of Animal Sciences, D.H. Barron Reproductive and Perinatal Biology Research Program, and Genetics Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

https://academic.oup.com/jas/article/98/11/skaa288/5954183

Journal of Animal Science, Volume 98, Issue 11, November 2020, skaa288 https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa288

Abstract

Typically, bovine embryos are transferred into recipient females about day 7 after estrus or anticipated ovulation, when the embryo has reached the blastocyst stage of development. All the biological and technical causes for failure of a female to produce a blastocyst 7 d after natural or artificial insemination (AI) are avoided when a blastocyst-stage embryo is transferred into the female. It is reasonable to expect, therefore, that pregnancy success would be higher for embryo transfer (ET) recipients than for inseminated females. This expectation is not usually met unless the recipient is exposed to heat stress or is classified as a repeat-breeder female. Rather, pregnancy success is generally similar for ET and AI. The implication is that either one or more of the technical aspects of ET have not yet been optimized or that underlying female fertility that causes an embryo to die before day 7 also causes it to die later in pregnancy. Improvements in pregnancy success after ET will depend upon making a better embryo, improving uterine receptivity, and forging new tools for production and transfer of embryos. Key to accelerating progress in improving pregnancy rates will be the identification of phenotypes or phenomes that allow the prediction of embryo competence for survival and maternal capacity to support embryonic development.

‘There is only one thing that is truly important in an IVF laboratory: everything’ Cairo Consensus Guidelines on IVF Culture Conditions

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Cairo Consensus Group

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1472648319307540#!

Reproductive BioMedicine Online Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages 33-60

Abstract

This proceedings report presents the outcomes from an international expert meeting to establish consensus guidelines on IVF culture conditions. Topics reviewed and discussed were: embryo culture – basic principles and interactions; temperature in the IVF laboratory; humidity in culture; carbon dioxide control and medium pH; oxygen tension for embryo culture; workstations – design and engineering; incubators – maintaining the culture environment; micromanipulation – maintaining a steady physcochemical environment; handling practices; assessment practices; culture media – buffering and pH, general composition and protein supplementation, sequential or single-step media for human embryo culture; use and management – cold chain and storage; test equipment – calibration and certification; and laboratory equipment and real-time monitoring. More than 50 consensus guideline points were established under these general headings.

Keywords: Culture conditions, Incubators, IVFMaintenance, Medium, Quality control

Direct transfer of frozen-thawed bovine embryos and its application in cattle reproduction management

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Osamu DOCHI1

1)Rakuno Gakuen University, Hokkaido 069-0851, Japan

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815740/

J Reprod Dev. 2019 Oct; 65(5): 389–396.Published online 2019 Jun 13. doi: 10.1262/jrd.2019-025

Abstract

Embryo transfer entails many procedures and techniques, of which embryo freezing is an important component in bovine embryo transfer. Embryo freezing techniques have been developed over the last 40 years, allowing practical availability, and have become essential for cattle reproduction management under field conditions. The direct transfer methods of frozen-thawed, in vivo-derived, and in vitro-produced (IVF) bovine embryos using 1.5 M ethylene glycol (EG) with or without sucrose (SUC) are used widely under on-farm conditions, not only in Japan but also globally. The direct transfer method using 1.5 M glycerol (GLY) and 0.25 M SUC (GLY-SUC) is used mainly in Japan. The pregnancy rate with direct transfer of frozen-thawed bovine embryos in either EG or GLY-SUC has been found to not differ from conventional freezing with GLY and traditional dilution techniques. Pregnancy rates following direct transfer of frozen-thawed bovine embryos were affected by the developmental stage of the embryos and the parity of the recipients. The use of ultrasound-guided on-farm ovum pickup is ushering in a new revolution for the commercial application of IVF embryos. Globally, for the first time more IVF bovine embryos were transferred in 2017 than produced in vivo. More than 60% of IVF embryos were transferred fresh due to a low pregnancy rate of frozen-thawed IVF embryos. Many factors seemed to be involved in improving the survival rate of frozen-thawed IVF embryos. Therefore, further research is needed to improve the freezing tolerance of IVF embryos to develop efficient direct transfer methods analogous to those used for in vivo embryos.

Keywords: Bovine embryo, Direct transfer, Ethylene glycol, Freezing, Pregnancy rate

Articles of Interest

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Published on: February 18, 2021

Ano-genital distance relates to fertility

Effect of dose and timing of prostaglandin F2α treatments during a 7-d Ovsynch protocol on progesterone concentration at the end of the protocol and pregnancy outcomes in lactating Holstein cows

Estradiol cypionate administered at the end of a progesterone-based protocol for FTAI induces ovulation and improves postovulatory luteal function and uterine environment in anestrous beef cows

Association between heat stress during intrauterine development and the calving-to-conception and calving-to-first-service intervals in Holstein cows

Impact of ethanol and heat stress–dependent effect of ultra-diluted Arnica montana 6 cH on in vitro embryo production in cattle

Analysis of bovine blastocysts indicates ovarian stimulation does not induce chromosome errors, nor discordance between inner-cell mass and trophectoderm lineages

Developmental kinetics and viability of bovine embryos produced in vitro with sex-sorted semen

Heat stress and reproduction – A foreword

Growing cattle embryos beyond Day 8 – An investigation of media components

Melatonin enhances in vitro developmental competence of cumulus-oocyte complexes collected by ovum pick-up in prepubertal and adult dairy cattle

Effect of expression of estrus and treatment with GnRH on pregnancies per AI in beef cattle synchronized with an estradiol/progesterone-based protocol

The incompletely fulfilled promise of embryo transfer in cattle—why aren’t pregnancy rates greater and what can we do about it?

2021 IETS proceedings

Effects of epidermal growth factor and progesterone on oocyte meiotic resumption and the expression of maturation-related transcripts during prematuration of oocytes from small and medium-sized bovine antral follicles              

AETA President’s Report – Fall 2020

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Published on: November 2, 2020

Hello,

Our 2020 AETA CETA/ACTE conference was unconventional, but despite the challenges of delivering the conference virtually, it was a success. We had a total of 423 participants from 45 states and provinces as well as 16 foreign countries who registered for and participated in the virtual conference. Thank you to everyone who gave this a chance.

This endeavor would not have been possible without the logistical support of FASS. I would especially like to thank Morgan Montgomery, the AETA executive assistant. Also, thank you to Kevin Wolter with information technology, who helped us create the platform for content delivery and managed it during the conference.

As the AETA board began to wrap our minds around the dilemma that was COVID-19 as it pertains to the conference, one thing became very clear to me; we were going to be tested in uncharted waters. I feel fortunate that we had a strong group of board members who were devoted to the success of the 2020 conference. I especially thank Dr. Bill Croushore for the outstanding work that he and his committee did. The depth and breadth of the conference was excellent, and although the delivery of the content on a virtual platform presented challenges, it came through in extraordinary fashion.

After we concluded the virtual conference, it was a pleasure for me to present the Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Chris Keim and Dr. Dan Hornickel. They are certainly deserving of this honor, given the many contributions they have made to our profession. They say that they “care for the cows everyone cares about.” They have also cared for and guided the profession we all care about so deeply.

I also had the privilege to present Dr. Scott Armbrust with the 2020 President’s Award. He has been a vital part of developing, maintaining, and enhancing foreign markets for the AETA and our producers. He has also served the AETA on the Cooperator Committee as well as having served as an AETA president. It was an honor for me to present him with this very well-deserved award on behalf of AETA.

Unfortunately, there was one aspect of our annual conference that we had no way to replicate virtually. We all missed the opportunity to see friends and enjoy each other’s fellowship. For that reason and others, I suspect we will all relish the chance to get together in beautiful Vancouver to see one another next fall.

Sincerely, Matthew Dorshorst, MS, DVM

Thank you to the 2020 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention Sponsors

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: November 2, 2020

Double Platinum Sponsor

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The AETA Announces 2020 Award Winners and 2021 Board of Directors

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Published on: November 2, 2020

The 2020 Annual Meeting of the AETA was held October 6 and 7. More than 400 national and international attendees came together virtually to learn more about the most recent advances in advanced bovine reproductive procedures and technology.

Listed below are the winners of the 2020 AETA awards who were recognized at the meeting and the incoming 2021 AETA board of directors.

The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Chris Keim – Whitewater, WI

Dr. Dan Hornickel – Whitewater, WI

AETA President’s Award

Dr. Scott Armbrust – Green Bay, WI

The 2021 Board of Directors

President – Dr. William Croushore, Berlin, PA

Vice President – Dr. Clay Breiner, Westmoreland, KS

Secretary-Treasurer – Dr. Greg Schueller, Whitewater, WI

Immediate Past President – Dr. Matthew Dorshorst, Marshfield, WI

Director – Dr. Jeremy VanBoening, Alma, NE

Director – Dr. Pat Comyn, Madison, VA

Director – Dr. Brad Lindsey, Midway, TX

Director – Dr. Daniela Demetrio, Riverdale, CA

Director – Dr. Charles Gue, Belgrade, MT

2021 AETA-CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Convention

In addition, the AETA announces its 2021 joint annual convention with the Canadian Embryo Transfer Association (CETA), to be held in the fall of 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Dr. Chris Keim accepts The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Dan Hornickel accepts The Edwin Robertson Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Scott Armbrust accepts the AETA President’s Award

The AETA Certification Requirements Have Been Updated

Categories: Catching Up
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Published on: November 2, 2020

Summary of changes to AETA Certification Program

The Certification Program has undergone two significant changes that every certified individual needs to understand and plan for. These have been approved by the board of directors and go into effect immediately.

  • 1. Certification cycle has changed from three to five years.

a.) Each individual’s certification cycle has been extended by two years. No matter where you are in your old three-year cycle, it will be extended. If it expired on December 31, 2019, the new expiration will be December 31, 2021.

b.) For continuing education purposes, you will now need 50 credits in your five-year cycle, 30 of which must come from attendance at AETA annual conferences. Each annual conference has a   value of 10 credits. The remaining credits may come from a variety of sources, which are outlined in the certification guidelines.

  • 2. Random inspection of certified members has been discontinued.

a.) Random inspection has been replaced with an inspection session that will occur each year at the annual conference. Attendance will be limited to approximately one fifth of the number of certified individuals. It will be an interactive format where representative examples of labeling and paperwork from each individual will be peer reviewed in small groups and at the whole session. If an unsatisfactory compliance with accepted protocol is determined during this session and not corrected, a site inspection may be generated.  

b.) Each individual will be responsible for attending one of these inspection sessions during their five-year cycle. Sign-up for this event will be announced well in advance, and priority will be given for a period of time to those people in the last year of their cycle. After that deadline, it will be first come, first served.

We hope these changes will help people with unforeseen conflicts during the annual convention and allow more flexibility in scheduling. If we all go into the new inspection session with a positive attitude and allow it to be a learning experience, we feel it will help our entire industry with uniformity and the image we project to the world.

2020 Fall Certification Exam Follow-up

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Published on: November 2, 2020

The AETA certification committee would like to express our gratitude to Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the embryo transfer staff for hosting our fall 2020 Examination. They went above and beyond in making our experience very pleasant in the midst of a chaotic time, and provided us a professional atmosphere to accomplish our mission. Thank you; your help is appreciated very much.

AETA 2019 Statistics Survey Results Available

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Published on: November 2, 2020

Winter is Coming!

Categories: Practice Tips
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Published on: November 2, 2020

Summer has been a HOT ONE in most places this year. Beware; Mother Nature has a way of balancing things out. The weather forecasters predict a cold winter in the northern United States, and a mild one in the southern United States. These are the same people that only predict a hurricane’s path with any accuracy within 24 hours. Go figure!

You find yourself driving down a snowy road. The wind is howling, and the snow is sideways. The temperature seems to drop every minute. Finally, you reach your destination an hour late. Clients will be coming soon for a long day of aspirations. As you unload all your equipment, set up the lab, you realize that you forgot to turn on your incubator. When you do turn it on, it says negative 10 degrees Celsius.

Aspirations are supposed to start in the next few minutes. What do you do?

The first thing I do is pull out my $15 portable hair blow dryer. Then I style my curly locks perfectly, because I always want to look my best for my clients. My friend and classmate, John Heizer, taught me this. Appearances are everything. John likes to volunteer a lot of hair styling tips. It’s his specialty. Also, you should know he hasn’t had a single hair on his head since we graduated in 1985. Go figure!

After my styling session, I then use the blow dryer to rapidly warm the incubator. The convection effect of the blow dryer will bring any cold incubator up to temperature in a matter of minutes. After warming your incubator, you can use it to drive the condensation off your cold microscope or your ultrasound, and even warm your boots. Ready to go in minutes for a day of client-pleasing aspirations.

Go figure!! Gary R. Hash, DVM

Embryo Evaluation Survey Follow-up

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Published on: November 2, 2020

The link below is a follow-up to the embryo evaluation survey sent out by AETA and conducted by Lincoln Memorial University with the evaluations at the time the images were captured. 

https://lmu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cHo9ieqA5iIhqKN

Didactic Assisted Reproductive Techniques Experiences for Veterinary Students at Lincoln Memorial University

Categories: Evidence-Based ET
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Published on: November 2, 2020

J Gibbons, P Gibbons, and L Miller

The faculty and staff at Lincoln Memorial University, College of Veterinary Medicine are committed to education and producing Day 1 ready veterinarians competent in all fields. As a distributive model of education, LMU-CVM students receive real-world training opportunities on sheep, goat, and dairy and beef cattle operations in southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee during their program. Reproductive physiology, estrous cycle manipulation, and specialized assisted reproductive techniques, such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer, transrectal ultrasonography and palpation, and transvaginal ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration are part of the Theriogenology Core and Elective courses. Material specific to multiple species is delivered by experts in the field (either by faculty or an adjunct) during lecture experiences, with most of the laboratories focusing on cattle. These laboratories consist of breeding soundness examinations, live cow palpation and ultrasound, palpation of pregnant and not pregnant excised reproductive tracts and ovaries, and either commercially available or in-house developed silicone models. LMU-CVM also offers a variety of wet labs focused on bovine embryo evaluation and handling, mock embryo transfer, and recovery experiences using excised reproductive tracts, as well as an Artificial Insemination Certification course. Advanced opportunities include Food Animal procedures and bovine palpation electives (beef and dairy cattle) and a Large Animal specific rotation at the DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Campus. Research opportunities involve in vivo and in vitro approaches to addressing basic and applied reproductive physiology questions. Examples include increasing the efficacy and effectiveness of assisted reproductive techniques, especially embryo transfer in cattle, short term incubation of bovine embryos, evaluation of the role of zinc in in vitro embryo production, dynamics of the bovine maternal to embryonic genome control transition, computer assisted semen analysis, and online and in person bovine embryo evaluation. Students from LMU-CVM have applied and received competitive travel grants to attend the AETA annual conference in 2017, 2018, and 2019 (2020 conference was virtual) and have been very active in recent Society for Theriogenology in-person and virtual conferences.

Effect of Supplemental Trace Minerals on Standard and Novel Measures of Bull Fertility

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Published on: November 2, 2020

T. W. Geary – a2, R. C. Waterman – a, M. L. Van Emon – b, C. R. Ratzburg – c, S. Lake – c, B. A. Eik – a, D. R. Armstrong – a, A. L. Zezeski – a, and J. S. Heldt – d

aUSDA-ARS, Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory, Miles City, MT 59301; bDepartment of Animal and Range Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717; cDepartment of Animal Sciences, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY; dMicronutrients USA LLC, 2601 Fortune Circle Drive E. Suite 200C, Indianapolis, IN 46241

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of trace mineral supplementation on traditional and novel measures of bull fertility. In experiment 1, 37 mature bulls received one of three dietary supplements daily for 71 d: 1) Supplement without Cu, Zn, and Mn (CON); 2) Supplement with Cu, Zn, and Mn sulfate (SULF); and 3) Supplement with basic Cu chloride, and Zn and Mn hydroxychloride (CHLR). In experiment 2, 128 Angus or Angus-Hereford calves were maintained on a growing diet for 75 d (year 1) or 119 d (year 2) in Calan gate equipped pens without mineral supplementation. Bulls (n = 32 head/treatment) received one of four trace mineral supplements daily for 84 d: 1) Zn with no Cu (ZN), 2) Cu with no Zn (CU), 3) Cu and Zn (ZNCU), or 4) no Cu or Zn (CON). Fertility measures included a breeding soundness examination (BSE) and novel fertility measures conducted using flow cytometry. In mature bulls, final liver Zn concentration was positively correlated (P = 0.02) with sperm concentration (r = 0.31) and tended (P = 0.06) to be negatively correlated with acrosome damage (r = -0.39). Peripubertal bulls receiving ZNCU had greater ADG than CU bulls (P = 0.05). Each BSE and novel fertility component improved from d 0 to 84 in peripubertal bulls and were not affected (P > 0.10) by mineral supplementation. Bulls that received no supplement (CON) had greater (P < 0.01) percentage of sperm with distal midpiece reflex and Dag defect in their ejaculates. Sperm viability after 30 min of incubation were not affected by trace mineral supplementation, but after 3 h incubation, sperm viability tended to differ (P = 0.06) between treatments and tended to be less for CON bulls compared to ZNCU bulls. Among contrast comparisons, trace mineral supplemented bulls had greater (P < 0.05) percentage of viable sperm at 3 h post collection and reactive oxygen resistant sperm than CON bulls. Addition of Zn to trace mineral containing Cu (ZNCU) improved (P < 0.05) percentage of sperm in the ejaculate with high mitochondrial energy potential and viable sperm with intact acrosome membrane. In summary, it appears the homeostasis mechanisms for bull trace mineral maintenance are extremely efficient and mineral supplementation of mature and peripubertal bulls did not have major improvements in any laboratory or chute-side measures of bull fertility, however bulls exposed to breeding or in environments with diet antagonists might respond differently.

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