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Pure air and water

The result: more embryos

The Department of Animal Reproduction of the Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnology School of USP registered an increase of between 15% and 50% in the development of embryos fertilized in vitro after the conclusion of the renovation in the laboratories, financed by the Infrastructure Program. In the opinion of professor José Antonio Visintin, this result, that has an obvious impact on the research into the area, was possible after the laboratory was able to have an electricity generator, a water storage reservoir of 15,000 liters, a system of refrigeration and air filtration, in a reform which separated the in vitro fertilization laboratories from those of cloning and transgenic animals.

“We were working with embryos, and for this reason we needed pure air and water to avoid contamination. When an energy blackout occurred, in seconds all of the embryo culture died, and with it the work of several days” recalls José Antonio Visintin.

Before the reform, all of the laboratory activities were carried out in only two locations. “Imagine preparing plant cultures between the eggs of cows and pigs.” The acquisition of a machine for the washing of material with filtered water increased the hygiene standards.

New spaces
Currently, the department maintains a room only for the refrigeration system, which distributes cold air to the environments with enough pressure to prevent the external air form invading the laboratories. With doubled and much more appropriate physical space, new laboratories were constructed and equipped, making possible the opening of new lines of research. The building of a pig-sty allowed that the study of the maturation of pigs ova was complemented with research about sperm and its capacity for fertilization. The surgical center, constructed at the side, which carried out test tube fertilization research, already has available the entire infrastructure for the implantation, in two years, of the transgenic procedures for pigs. This will close a line of research into pigs, which includes artificial insemination, test tube fertilization and cloning.

Among the other new laboratories of the Animal Reproduction Department are three of molecular biology, one of physiology and one for research animal breeding. The expansion and modernization of the cowsheds, which before housed all of the animals that were the objective of the research, has made it possible to duplicate the herd of bulls and now a total of 15 cows are included in the livestock. The place, which “was only mud” now has a concrete floor and is much better organized with the installation of five corrals. In total, the Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnology Faculty received, for the reformation and modernization of its laboratories, approximately R$ 5.1 million from the Infrastructure Program.