The laboratory equipment newsletter Laboratorytalk had an article today on a new nitrogen free-freezer which could be used for storing embryos and stem cells. Because it does not use liquid nitrogen, it eliminates the risk of contamination from nitrogen-borne bacteria or debris. It is also very small and can be powered by a car battery.
This is interesting because of all the emphasis on stem cell research facilities. If this freezer is effective for some forms of stem cell research—those which do not require fresh embryos or cells--it might solve some of the issues related to space and operational costs for research that does not use federal funding and allow money to be diverted into some other aspect of research.