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Medical A.R.T. seminar. Challenges for Today: Assisted Reproduction Technologies

Medical A.R.T. seminar. Challenges for Today: Assisted Reproduction Technologies

Time: 12.05.16  10:00–17:00
Location: Kumu auditorium
Price: Free of charge

Multidisciplinary seminar: open university
A multidisciplinary seminar on “Assisted Reproduction Technologies” (A.R.T.) is organized in Tallinn, Estonia. It is open to everyone (open university): students, young researchers, medical doctors, veterinarians, industry, press, lawyers, policy and decision-makers, etc… all those interested in the vast aspects of A.R.T. The proposed seminar is considered as a pilot project in accordance to the “One Health Concept”, a cross-sectoral approach for collaborations in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment, and for stimulation of multidisciplinary research that serves mankind.

In the 19th century, efficient reproduction was mainly affected by nutrition and health. Today, reproduction is becoming a very complex process because it is determined by new detailed scientific knowledge of physiological and genetic factors. Men has now several techniques at his disposal to interfere with the development of progenies. Reproduction in humans, farm, companion, and wild and zoo animals can be controlled from the very beginning of conception. Tremendous progress has been made in the science of reproduction over the last decades and Nobel prizes were awarded for unique milestones in the science of A.R.T.

A.R.T. is the application of medical techniques to gametes and embryos of humans and animals for reproduction purposes. Nowadays, the phrase A.R.T. replaces the old term “in vitro fertilisation (IVF)” and covers a much larger range of techniques (far more than exclusively IVF). In human medicine A.R.T. covers all treatments for infertility to achieve the birth of a healthy child. Reproduction in production animals is also controlled by A.R.T. not only to obtain healthy progenies but also to optimize efficiency of food and milk production. In zoos, the application of A.R.T is important to maintain genetic diversity for the preservation of endangered species. Over the last decades A.R.T. has undergone an enormous metamorphosis. New biomedical opportunities, such as epigenetic control, offer new perspectives for health and cure of the neonate.

Today, A.R.T. applied in both human and veterinary medicine, is challenged. Evolution in scientific knowledge, technology and economics was able to breach taboos and improve health. However, we are now standing at a critical juncture where science meets society forces. A tight interaction between science and society invites for ethical dimensions.


The first objective of the seminar is to inform the audience on modern reproduction techniques. Top experts and specialists in human and animal reproduction will highlight the actual knowledge on A.R.T. Also its social and ethical implications will be highlighted. The seminar offers a unique opportunity to receive expert answers on facts and myths on all aspects of A.R.T.

Public debate
The second objective of the seminar is to stimulate an open public debate (forum) on new tendencies in scientific research and its potential applications in humans and animals. Audience members will discuss a topic of choice with the panelists. Every question from the public is welcome (open university). During this open debate the audience can voice opinions and asking questions on today’s A.R.T. hottest issues. We will welcome any questions and ideas from the audience.

Open & web-based technology
The third objective of the seminar is to stimulate “open & web-based technology”. The seminar is supported by the UGent Open Webslides initiative. Using this new technology we aim to disseminate views on the future of A.R.T. to a wider audience, both within and outside of the current seminar. In addition we foster a dialogue with the speakers and will welcome any questions and ideas from the audience via our online platform. The seminar targets a broad interactive public and is open to everyone interested in “the diverse aspects” of A.R.T.

The fourth objective of the seminar is to produce printed and/or on line proceedings. They will be available free of charge to all seminar attendees. The on line version will be published following the date of the seminar. They contain the papers that were submitted for publication by the key-note speakers as well as some additive information. The papers are not peer reviewed prior to publication in the proceedings.

Freddy Mortier (vice-rector), Ann Van Soom, Petra De Sutter, Geert Opsomer, Bjorn Heindryckx, Esther De Loof, Christian Burvenich (Ghent University) Belgium
Ülle Jaakma (vice-rector of research at EMÜ), Andres Salumets, Sulev Kõks, Marilin Ivask University of Tartu and Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool, EMÜ), Estonia

SEMINAR programme

PROCEEDINGS and biographies

Confirmation of attendance would be very much appreciated for practical reasons.

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Additional information
Christian Burvenich, Ghent University, Belgium

Ülle Jaakma, Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool, EMÜ), Estonia

• Ghent University, see
• University of Tartu, see
• Estonian University of Life Sciences, see
• The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Illustrated Information.
• One health Global Network,
• European Cooperation in Science & Technology – Epiconcept,