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A-Tech News and Updates

Variation in lipid profiles within semen compartments - the bovine model of aging

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Recent Study Involving the SQA-Vb Automated Sperm Quality Analyzer:

Abstract: Semen lipid composition was examined in young and mature bulls. Given the specific roles of various semen compartments (i.e., seminal fluid, sperm head, and sperm tail) during fertilization, we hypothesized that altered fatty acid and cholesterol composition of a specific compartment might impair semen quality and sperm function. Semen samples were collected from five mature and five young Holstein Friesian bulls during the winter (December–January). Semen was evaluated by computerized sperm-quality analyzer for bulls and was centrifuged to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. The sperm fraction was sonicated to separate its head and tail compartments. Cold extraction of lipids was performed, and fatty acids and cholesterol were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Semen physiological features (concentration, motility, and progressive motility) did not differ between mature and young bulls. However, lipid composition within fractions varied between groups, with prominent impairments in the head compartment. In particular, the proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid in the intact sperm; seminal fluid; and sperm head were lower in semen collected from mature bulls than in that from young bulls. The finding suggests an age-differential absorption and/or metabolism through spermatogenesis. Reduced proportions of major fatty acids in mature bulls might reduce membrane fluidity, which in turn might affect the ability to undergo cryopreservation and/or oocyte-sperm fusion through fertilization.

DOWNLOAD THE HOLE ARTICLE HERE:

 

The QwikCheck™ Gold BULL Sperm Quality Analyzer goes to BSE beta testing

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The QwikCheck™ Gold Bull has just hit the market after being used for BSE exams in the field. The beta testing was done “in field conditions” to determine how the QwikCheck™ would perform from the back of a truck or on a portable table at the bull collection pens. “Dr. Moti (DVM)” was engaged by A-TECH to test the system during his bi-annual bull soundness examination rounds. He used the system, label printer and testing capillaries after very little training and successfully performed his rounds over a couple of weeks in October-November, 2009.

Trailing water, you could mistake them for ducklings:


System in action, waiting for the next sample:


System, printer, supplies and mil-spec travel case - the complete package:


A fine animal taking in the morning sun:

Sion & A-Tech Global Dairy Cattle Progressive Motility Field Trial

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
In 2008 A-Tech Global and Sion Israel began a long term study to establish a correlation between dosing semen by progressive motility and pregnancy rates in dairy cattle. The trial was conducted in field conditions at more than 500 dairy farms with over 6,000 cows participating making it the most comprehensive fertility study ever conducted in Israel.  For dose preparation and quality control Sion Israel used a new technology: The SQA-Vb (Bull) Automated Semen Analyzer.  The SQA-Vb can accurately dose samples based on Progressive Motile Sperm in 45 seconds, perform post thaw quality control, and much more.  The system was quickly integrated into Sion's semen processing operation and was the technology of choice for this fertility trial.  With the much anticipated phase 3 results set to shake up the industry, A-Tech Global wanted to acknowledge the excellent work of Sion and provide our customers with some more information about their organization.

Sion A.I. was founded in 2001 through a merger between the On and Hasherut A.I. cooperatives. Sion currently maintains 240 bulls located in three different sites.  Each year, approximately 350,000 inseminations are performed in Israel, 92.5% with local semen from the Israeli-Holstein breed.  The Israeli dairy cattle population has the highest average milk and milk solids production in the world, even though dairy production is influenced by heat stress for most of the year.  Israeli bulls transmit outstanding genetics for milk yield and components, and excel in fertility, longevity and udder health traits. Sion employs 36 insemination technicians.  Currently, 88% of the dairy herds are involved in the DHI system. Insemination information is recorded by the technicians on hand-held computer terminals. This system allows for error-free data transfer to the central Israel Cows Breeders Association – ICBA computer.  Semen collection starts when bulls are 14 months old. Genetic evaluations are computed biannually, and the status of the bulls and cows are reevaluated after each new genetic evaluation.  For more information, please visit Sion's Website: www.sion-israel.com.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

A-Tech CEO Marcia Deutsch and US Director (and blog author) Eric Carver making a new friend at Sion:


"The Team" at lunch time:


A beautiful shot of Sion's facility from across the field:


Two mechanics "checking the oil":


A heart-felt endorsement letter from Director of Science and Production Yoel Zeron:


Want to learn more?  Click the logo below:

Sion AI Stud Fertility Trial | Dosing by Progressive Sperm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A-Tech (Advanced Agricultural Technologies), in cooperation with SION Bull Stud (Israel) began a fertility trial in mid 2008.  Our SQA-Vb Automated Semen Analyzer was used to prepare AI doses based on total sperm concentration and different levels of progressively motile sperm concentration in order to better understand the benefits of dosing based on progressively motile sperm vs. total sperm in a production setting.  10,000 frozen straws were prepared using the SQA-Vb system's dosing instructions.  The straws were divided into the following categories: 2,500 straws prepared with 15 million total sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 1.5 million progressively motile sperm, 2,500 straws prepared with 3.5 million progressively motile sperm and 2,500 straws prepared with 7 million progressively motile sperm.  After freezing, the straws were then run on the quality control (frozen) mode of the SQA-Vb analyzer to insure dose quality and survivability.  Thousands of cows from multiple dairies throughout Israel participated in the study and now the data from this trial is being evaluated for impact on fertility. The data assessment phase is scheduled for completion in Q3, 2009.  Please stay tuned for the results - it should be quite an eye opener.



For an overview of the first two phases of the trial (validating the SQA-Vb and preparing the straws) please review this presentation made by A-Tech Global's chief Veterinarian Dr. Uri Shalit at last years Theriogenology conference in St Louis:

PHASE 1 & 2 THERIOGENOLOGY PRESENTATION

For more information on the SQA-Vb and our other Bovine automated semen analyzers, please visit our Bull products section HERE
  


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