March 2015 President’s Letter

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Published on: March 25, 2015

By now, our summer implant efforts from last year are starting hit the ground as calves. Unfortunately, clients everywhere are having to take extra precautions to save those little buggers from snowdrift hypothermia (especially those in the Northeast!) and those precious fuzzy ears from frostbite.

Our board of directors met in the beginning of February at FASS headquarters for the mid-year board meeting. I thought we had a productive meeting and covered a lot of bases. While no major issues face the organization right now, we did end up with a strong list of action steps I believe will continue to move the organization in a positive direction. One particular step includes asking you, our membership, to give us feedback through an online survey. Stay tuned.

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Robert D. Baker, PhD, In Memoriam

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Published on: March 25, 2015

By John F. Hasler

 

BakerRobert D. Baker, well-known pioneer in embryo transfer, died February 19, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Baker had a successful, noteworthy career in both academia and commercial embryo transfer and served as the first president of the AETA.

Born in Illinois in 1938 and raised on a farm, Baker completed his PhD at the University of Illinois in the late 1960s. Baker published noteworthy papers on swine reproduction with his advisor, Phil Dziuk, the recipient of the 2001 IETS Pioneer award. Baker then took a postdoc at Cambridge, England, under the direction of Chris Polge, the recipient of the 1987 IETS Pioneer award. Polge is credited with having discovered that glycerol is an ideal cryoprotectant for freezing sperm.

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2015 Joint Conference: Save the date!

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Published on: March 25, 2015

she1330ex.55159_lgThe 2015 AETA and CETA/ACTE joint annual conference will take place at Sheraton on the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, on October 15–17, 2015.

More information about the meeting, companion tours, preconference events, hotel information, and registration will be posted on the meeting website, so be sure to check back often.

Practice Tip: Genomic evaluation from the perspective of an ET practitioner and Holstein breeder

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Published on: March 25, 2015

By:   Dr. Pat Comyn (Virginia)

The emergence of genomic evaluations in 2009 and subsequent development of this technology have transformed the business of breeding registered Holstein cattle. I will not attempt to address the science of genomics; many more well qualified than me have done sound presentations on this topic. Rather, I would like to briefly look back to the period before genomics and then look to the present on how I use this technology.

Many philosophers, including Samuel Clemens, have expressed the sentiment that, to paraphrase, what gets us in trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know that ain’t so. I think that this describes the situation in Holstein breeding prior to the introduction of genomics. We had phenotypic (type) and production evaluations on dam (if lactating) and sire proofs (on proven bulls). The sire proofs were, on new release, bulls around 85% reliable and the reliability of the dams was around 38 to 60% (depending on lactation number). The reliability of a dam’s proof was always hard to assess. We congratulated each other and the system if great animals resulted from a mating, and we moved on if a mating proved disappointing. But then, one has to ask, how right were we? How did we know the best transmitter was selected? The answer is that we did not know. We had no way to evaluate that question. One final point—there was a relative paucity of proven bulls that one could use in the pre-genomic era.

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Embryo Grading Follow-Up from the 2014 AETA/CETA Conference

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Published on: March 25, 2015

By Jennifer Barfield, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

During the 2014 AETA/CETA conference in Madison, Wisconsin, an embryo grading workshop was held during the preconference symposium. Participants were shown pictures and videos of embryos and asked to grade them using the International Embryo Transfer Society’s grading scale. Answers were collected via iClicker technology and evaluated for each of the three pre-symposium sessions. While the audience was in general agreement on the grade for many of the embryos, other embryos proved to be more challenging. The figure below is an example of an embryo for which the audience did not come to a consensus on the grade.

Embryoevaluation

 

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Certification Quiz 2014: Embryo Evaluation

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Published on: March 25, 2015

AETA-CERTIFIED-LOGODuring the AETA convention this last year in Madison, the members of the certification committee decided to use embryo evaluation as the topic for the certification quiz. Embryo evaluation is one of the main areas that is a cornerstone for the certification program. Because of its importance, we have used this topic on previous occasions and returned to it this year. We realize that it is somewhat difficult to look at pictures of embryos on a screen at the front of a large room, and we all would like to “roll” the embryo to do a good job at grading them. However, judging from the results of the quiz, most of our certified members did a fairly good job and demonstrated that they correctly know how to grade embryos. As usual, there were some whose results suggested that there is room for improvement.

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Catching Up: When I “Retire” by Larry Kennel

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Published on: March 25, 2015

relaxSome people may think it’s a long jump from embryo transfer to winemaking. Actually, it’s not so big a jump. Both require attention to detail, quality control, a bit of research, good record keeping, some experience, participation in continuing education, and the ability to deal with the public.

I guess I really don’t ever plan to retire. I believe retirement is overrated. I believe those who choose careers that they enjoy do not see their career as only work. I’ve really enjoyed my career in embryo transfer. However, as I near 70 years of age (that’s hard for me to believe), the prospect of spending less time on the road has some merit. Surely, when I retire from embryo transfer, I will miss “my” clients. I am now doing embryo transfer work for the third generation in some families. Sometimes it seems like vacation to go to work on those farms. At the present time I’m working about half time in embryo transfer.

My second career (actually, the third, since after graduation from veterinary school I spent 11 years in a large animal practice) in which I’m working nearly full time is in our new venture, The Vineyard at Grandview. I had been making wine as a hobby when I found out our present property has soils that are conducive to growing good wine grapes. In 2009 we planted our first vines. Our sons-in-law, Steve and Scott, were very helpful in starting the vineyard. We are growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Albariño.

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Articles of Interest

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Published on: March 25, 2015

Effect of vaccination with a multivalent modified-live viral vaccine on reproductive performance in synchronized beef heifers
Paul H. Walz, Misty A. Edmondson, Kay P. Riddell, Timothy D. Braden, Julie A. Gard, Jenna Bayne, Kellye S. Joiner, Patricia K. Galik, Sjoert Zuidhof, and M. Daniel Givens

Survival of vitrified in vitro–produced bovine embryos after a one-step warming in-straw cryoprotectant dilution procedure
J. N. Caamaño, E. Gómez, B. Trigal, M. Muñoz, S. Carrocera, D. Martín, and C. Díez

Bovine embryo sex determination by multiplex loop-mediated isothermal amplification
Trisadee Khamlor, Petai Pongpiachan, Rangsun Parnpai, Kanchana Punyawai, Siwat Sangsritavong, and Nipa Chokesajjawatee

Superovulatory response in Japanese Black cows receiving a single subcutaneous porcine follicle–stimulating hormone treatment or six intramuscular treatments over three days
S. Hiraizumi, H. Nishinomiya, T. Oikawa, N. Sakagami, F. Sano, O. Nishino, T. Kurahara, N. Nishimoto, O. Ishiyama, Y. Hasegawa, and Y. Hashiyada

LH secretion around induced ovulation during early and late diestrus and its effect on the appearance of short estrous cycles in cyclic dairy heifers
Mari H. Rantala, and Juhani Taponen

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AETA is on Facebook!

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Published on: March 25, 2015

FaceBClickLIKE” the AETA page to get society news and updates.

The AETA Facebook page has been developed as an easy way for members of American Embryo Transfer Association (AETA) to keep up to date with society news and news important to the embryo transfer industry.

If you already have a Facebook account, simply follow the link below:

http://www.facebook.com/embryotransfer

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