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Ken Drury, Ph.D., Editor 

This statement can be comforting or menacing and can signify either unity of sprit or fear. As Clinical Embryologists, it should definitely add hope and validation that the work in which we spend an inordinate amount of time and energy is valued in every part of the world. This is because there are infertile couples everywhere who desire the reproductive technology that is now available and offered clinically. Embryologists play a large role in providing the gift of parenthood these couples can only imagine. So, the question arises; “How do we demonstrate that we are up to the challenge that is expected and required in order to give our patients the miracle they wish for and expect?” The dreaded word “certification” still defines a major issue confronting who we claim to be. We now know that certification and the certification process do enhance our ability to establish who an embryologist is, what they should know and what experience they should possess. So we ask; “Should this certification process be a universal expectation which brings about universal prospects of success in every region or country in the world?” This question is most certainly premature and probably presumptuous. However, the certification of clinical embryologists is taking on more prominence. Our own certification process is now viewed as a standard thanks to the American Board of Bioanalysis (ABB) and the American Association of Bioanalysts (AAB). Here, I would like to highlight the announcement from the European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology (ESHRE) that a process of certification for embryologists has now been presented in collaboration with several national European societies (www.eshre.com/emc.asp?pageId=925).This certification program, along with requirements and other information, will be launched at the Annual ESHRE meeting being held in Lyon, France, July 1-4, 2007. This should be looked upon favorably and followed with great interest. It is a sure sign that other regions and countries around the world will follow suit and create a standard by which all clinical embryologists are measured.
So, “Yes!” we are not alone, thank goodness.

  

Now, on to the articles presented in this issue of The Clinical Embryologist™. 

Additional important information concerning non-invasive embryo viability assessment is again our focus. The technology described is powerful and diverse and you can decide how it may actually benefit your program in achieving the ultimate goal of identifying that single “best” embryo for transfer. 

Drs. Lynette Scott and coauthor, Neils Ramsing, describe the use of the EmbryoScope developed by Unisense FertiliTech. It was developed to measure oocyte and embryo respiration rates which may ultimately be a clue to viability. 

Dr. Peter Nagy (on behalf of The Metabolomics Study Group for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)) presents the unique use of Raman Spectroscopy for the identification and quantification of biomarkers residing in conditioned culture medium. Unique metabolomic profiles may indicate the viability status of in-vitro derived embryos. 

Dr. Norm Dubin again brings you the excitement of his serial presentation offering useful statistical information in the “Stat Chat”. 

Find your favorite lounge chair (or bench stool!) and enjoy.