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(AGI) Lisbon, June 18 - Two Italian projects that havedeveloped new non-invasive methods to improve the effectivenessof assisted reproduction techniques have received the Grant forFertility Innovation (GFI) award from Merck Serono. The sixwinners were announced during a ceremony held on the occasionof the 31st yearly meeting of the European Society of HumanReproduction and Embryology, which took place in Lisbon onWednesday. The award was launched in 2009 to encourage researchprojects seeking to improve medically assisted reproductiontechniques, thus promoting solutions to infertility. In sixyears, over 750 applications have arrived from more than 50countries. Six received a prize this year for a total fundingallocation of 1.2 million euro. The two Italian projectsselected were created by Antonio Capalbo of the PDG/PGSprogramme of the Genbera Reproduction Medicine Centres anddirector of the Genetyx laboratory, and by Paola Vigano,coordinator of the Assisted Reproduction Laboratory of Milan'sSan Raffaele hospital. With the grant, Capalbo will work on anew and faster non-invasive method based on miRNA analysis toselect the best embryo according to the analysis of theexosomes, small vescicles which cells release in theenvironment. .