March 2014 President’s Letter

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Published on: March 13, 2014

It has certainly been a winter to remember here in the Midwest. Record cold temperatures and record days below freezing don’t equate to record embryo production or pregnancy rates. Spring will certainly be welcome when it finally gets here.

As I begin my term as President of this great organization, it is certainly nice to lead a group that is on good terms. I would like to thank all the great leaders of this organization in the past for putting us in this position and I have no doubt that your current board of directors will continue to move the AETA forward. At our recent winter board meeting, your board of directors made it clear that one of our objectives is to invest our resources into educating students and attracting more of them to our profession. The membership and convention committees are working on gearing a portion of the program to students and we are all looking forward to a great meeting in Madison.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our many committee members who are the backbone of this organization. Many of these individuals put in countless hours in addition to their busy schedules to carry out all the “leg work” that makes the AETA so great. Our board of directors thanks them for their efforts and encourages them to “keep up the good work”.

Thank you for your confidence and the opportunity to lead one of the great professional organizations. Any ideas for improvement are always welcome.

 

Respectfully,

Dr. Michael Pugh, AETA President

AETA 2014 Winter Board of Director’s Meeting

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Published on: March 13, 2014

The winter meeting of the AETA Board of Directors was held on February 22 at the Madison (WI) Marriott West.  The meeting was held at this site to allow the Board members to preview the location of the 2014 annual AETA Meeting.  This location also allowed FASS staff to meet with local AETA member Chris Keim and his wife to begin planning activities for the Sunday preceding the meeting.

The Board meeting followed a standard format which provides a comprehensive review of the activities of the association.  The Treasurer’s report and draft budget is a large and important area to review.  The association is definitely doing well financially.  This financial success is a real tribute to the careful budgeting of the AETA treasurers, an active and growing membership, and an efficient management organization.  The 2014 budget will be quite similar to the 2013 budget.  The treasurer and the Board are keeping a close watch on possible expense increases that may be realized as the AETA strives to maintain a top quality meeting, attract more students, and expand the programs already in existence.

The Board recognizes that students are important to the future of the organization.  The Board approved a full scholarship for six students to attend the 2014 meeting.  And the registration fees will be reduced for all students in attendance.  The Board, through FASS, is also working on a mechanism that would put AETA members in contact with student attendees from their locale; members could then elect individually to help defray some of the expenses associated with the meeting.

The Certification Committee has a busy agenda for this year.  The Certification Exam is being revised to include questions relating to in vitro fertilization procedures.  Members can expect to see some of these questions in the annual certification session at the meeting (more information on this will be forthcoming).  And the committee will be inspecting the eight newly certified members as well as two randomly selected members.

The Cooperator Committee is assembling two quality sample shipments; a request for embryos went out to the membership.  Hopefully funds will be approved that will allow AETA members to travel and transfer the embryos.

And the rest of the committees are working hard to move the AETA forward.

AETA Annual Convention Student Scholarship Award Announcement

Categories: Annual Meeting
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Published on: March 13, 2014

2014-AETA-WebBannerThe American Embryo Transfer Association is offering six (6) Student Scholarship awards to help cover expenses at the 2014 AETA & CETA/ACTE Joint Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin on October 6-8, 2014. The Scholarship includes student registration, pre-convention seminar(s), Friday and Saturday scientific sessions, banquet, breakfasts, lunches, breaks, maximum hotel accommodations for three nights, round trip airfare for one, and entrance to the pre-conference social. Please visit the AETA & CETA/ACTE 2014 Meeting site for more information.

2014 IETS Meeting Report

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Published on: March 13, 2014

IETS-logo-ColorThe 2014 IETS meeting was held in January at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Hotel in Sparks (Reno) Nevada, within a mile or two from where the joint AETA/CETA conference was held just a few months before.  The meeting started off with an excellent pre-conference symposium (co-sponsored by the AETA) where participants were allowed to select and attend 3 hands on workshops from 5 organized themes:  IVF lab processes, ultrasound, embryo grading and manipulation, cryopreservation, and semen technologies.  You could tell a lot of planning and work went into this event and it was impressively organized and executed.  Main meeting sessions included a 40 year tribute to the IETS, an opening session on genetics and genomics, several high quality concurrent scientific sessions (several which forced you to make difficult decisions what to attend and what to miss out on), and the ever popular poster sessions.  The session that maybe generated the most conversation and buzz with the AETA attendees was probably a session on lengthened stimulation protocols which morphed into discussions on decreasing vs. flat dosing schedules and follicular growth during stimulation.  I was able to meet with Charles Looney and Francois-Xavier Grand over breakfast and we sketched out ideas for the Madison program.  We will likely try to incorporate some of the better speakers and/or posters into our program.  Additionally, Francois (representing CETA) and Kevin Lindell, Bethany Funnell, Mark James and myself (representing AETA) met with Matt Wheeler and Patrick Blondin (representing IETS) and discussed plans for a joint meeting with CETA/AETA/IETS in the fall of 2017.  The likely venue will be in Houston, Texas and the tentative plan is to incorporate preconference workshops similar to what they did this past January.  This is going to be a big undertaking and a big positive for all 3 associations coming together.  Finally I had the opportunity to represent the AETA at the affiliate luncheon where all international societies meet to exchange updates, ask questions of other associations, and share ideas of what is working well for them.  I sat next to and had a good conversation with the representative from Mexico who is hungry to get an embryo association up and running there, as there currently is none.  Mark James did a nice job in organizing the AETA booth which he recruited staffing from the membership already in attendance there.  It was a really good opportunity for me to attend this meeting.  This program was packed with science.  I came away with some valuable ideas for the Madison program and established some relationships that will be for the good of the AETA in the future.  Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to represent the AETA.

Jon Schmidt, AETA Vice-President

Evidence-Based ET: Where does the transferred embryo have to be placed in order to maximize pregnancy rate?

Categories: Evidence-Based ET
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Published on: March 13, 2014

Note: This is the fourth in the series of topics suggested by the AETA Board of Directors. Should any readers want to suggest future topics, please email them to me.

John F. Hasler

Jfhasler05@msn.com

Where does the transferred embryo have to be placed in order to maximize pregnancy rate?

Well, we know where a bovine embryo belongs when it first travels through the UT junction!  Initially, it will be in the tip of the uterine horn, and if the embryo resulted from fertilization of the animal’s own ovulated oocyte, then the embryo will be in the horn on the same side (ipsilateral) as the CL. However, that is not necessarily where the embryo will end up and implant.  Embryo migration within the uterus is well-known in litter producing domestic animals, such as swine, but it also has been shown to occur in single ovulating cattle at a frequency of 2 to 3% (for review see McMillan and Peterson, 1999), although Scanlon (1972) reported no trans-uterine migration in more than 600 single ovulating cows. He did, however, note that a series of previous published reports indicated a migration percentage of 0.3 to 1.6%. Migration has not been reported in cattle following the non-surgical transfer of a single embryo transferred to the horn either to the ipsilateral or contralateral to the ovary with the CL, although the sample sizes were small. (more…)

AETA Website Updates

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Published on: March 13, 2014

The Education Committee and FASS IT have been working to maintain an active website for the AETA membership.  And all members should have received notification of three website updates.  First, there is a new trade leads section.  There is a specific tab for Trade Leads and the site can also be accessed through the Quick Links section, “Contact US Embryo Exporters.”  Members and non-members can post a trade lead.  Leads are reviewed prior to posting.  Only members can view the leads.

Second, the Friday afternoon sessions of the meeting in Reno are available for review.  The sessions are presented as audio and slides.  Members can review these sessions at their leisure.  The sessions are accessed by the Educational Materials tab.

And, third, there is a site to list your own practice as a possible mentor for new practitioners.  The Board has long recognized that the AETA membership comprises an incredible array of highly skilled individuals.  And these individuals could really help someone who is new to the industry start on the right track.  The Mentor List, which is accessed through the member services tab, provides a space where interested members can list their practice information for viewing by other AETA members who would like to have a mentor.

Practice Tip: Cabela’s Table

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Published on: March 13, 2014

The “Cabela’s table” is a lightweight table that collapses, folds up, and fits into a carrying sack.  The table is aluminum and the table plus sack weigh about six pounds. The working surface of the large model is 28 x 28 inches.  It is very handy to have a consistent work area for embryo collection or embryo transfer equipment, or even a surgery kit.  The table is remarkably sturdy given its light weight; I have had two which both lasted about three years.

Possible disadvantages might include the brushed aluminum finish which is a little difficult to clean; periodic treatment of the clean table with Armor All really helps.  And it is a lightweight table, caution should be used in windy situations.

For some reason clients think this table is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I am not sure that I would go that far, however it sure is handy.  And it will easily fit in most any vehicle.

The table is available at Cabelas.com as item number IK-517640.

Table With InstrumentsTable AssembledTable Folded UpTable In Bag

Items of Interest from JAVMA

Categories: Research Publications
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Published on: March 13, 2014

Recent editions of the JAVMA have published a couple of links which may be of interest to AETA members.  The first is a link to guidelines published by the AABP, “Establishing and Maintaining the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship in Bovine Practice.”  In addition, the FDA has released “The Ins and Outs of Extra-Label Drug Use in Animals:  A Resource for Veterinarians.”  Click on “For Veterinarians” on the left hand side of the web page and “The Ins and Outs…” is a featured article.

Another item which may be of interest is an article by Brennen McKenzie entitled “Veterinary clinical decision making:  cognitive biases, external constraints, and strategies for improvement” (JAVMA 244(3): 271-276, 2014).  The article is actually a commentary, so it may be easier reading than the title suggests.  Dr. McKenzie is a founding member of the Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine Society and a leader in that society’s efforts to bring evidence based principles to the veterinary profession.  The embryo transfer industry is fortunate to have a solid base of research to guide our decision making.  And the AETA is fortunate to have Dr. John Hasler to write his “Evidence Based ET” articles for our newsletter.  Dr. McKenzie’s article offers an interesting complement to our thinking.

Articles of Interest

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Published on: March 13, 2014

Effects of post-AI nutrition on pregnancy rate and embryo quality

Effect of the first GnRH and two doses of PGF2α in a 5-day progesterone-based CO-Synch protocol on heifer pregnancy

Risk of Coxiella burnetii transmission via embryo transfer using in vitro early bovine embryos

Production of female bovine embryos with sex-sorted sperm using intracytoplasmic sperm injection: Efficiency and in vitro developmental competence

Pregnancy rate and birth rate of calves from a large-scale IVF program using reverse-sorted semen in Bos indicus, Bos indicus-taurus, and Bos taurus cattle

Lack of complete regression of the Day 5 corpus luteum after one or two doses of PGF in nonlactating Holstein cows

Theriogenology 40th anniversary issue (loaded with good articles and all FREE!!!)

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