One of the biggest difficulties scientists’ faces is sending samples to other laboratories or sharing them with colleagues to receive a second opinion or confirm results. Primarily when these samples are from living things and contain tissue, blood, or other bodily fluids.
Now, Teruhiko Wakayama’s lab was one of the first scientific teams to solve this problem: in fact, they were the first to achieve freeze-drying and preserve mammalian sperm (in this case mice) and not only send it to another university, not even to another continent, but space, to the International Space Station (ISS). The purpose was to study the effects of space radiation on young mice.
In this trip, the sperms were originally stored in a glass ampoule, a container that, although small in size, breaks easily and takes up a lot of space because certain pillows had to be used to avoid damaging the ampoules that would render the sperm unfit. for use.
The authors note that using the new preservation method, thousands of sperms from strains of mice can be stored in a single book. In fact, they called this the “Book of Sperm.” The book was stored in a -30 °C refrigerator until later used for experiments.