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OCTOBER 2012

A F F I L I AT E S L E T T E R The official newsletter for FEMS Affiliates

Also in this issue: Publications Page • FEMS Microbiology Ecology in Perspective • Article highlight from FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology • FEMS Microbiology Reviews is looking for a Chief Editor • Pathogens and Disease is open for submissions Grants Corner • Featured Grantee: Josko Kaliterna • Call for Applications: FEMS Research Fellowship Society Feature Royal Netherlands Society for Microbiology A message from newly Co-opted Member-at-Large Dr Joanna Verran Microbiology Trivia DEADLINES

The registration to the 5th FEMS Congress is now open. If you register as early as today until 15 April 2013, you may save up to € 150. See the schedule of fees below.

Share your research discoveries and benefit from the exchange of ideas with thousands of fellow internation-

Early Fee from today to 15 April 2013

Late Fee from 16 April 2013 to 15 July 2013

Onsite Fee from 16 July 2013

Full - Participant (Non-Member)

€550

€650

€700

Full - Participant (Member)

€500

€600

€650

Student/Fellow (Non-Member)

€450

€500

€550

Student/Fellow (Member)

€400

€450

€500

Daily Rate

€300

€300

€350

Payment of the registration fee includes: 1. Participation in all scientific sessions 2. Congress publications 3. Access to the Exhibition Area 4. Invitation to the Welcome Reception 5. Lunches and coffee breaks The registration fee can be paid in euros by credit card or bank transfer. You will find the specific payment procedure on the congress website.

FEMS-Sponsored Meetings Microbiology Tidbits

Along with your registration, you might also want to submit your abstract today.

Young scientists who are in need of financial support to be able to join the 5th FEMS Congress may apply for Congress Grants. www.fems-microbiology.org

al colleagues in a truly global microbiology event such as the 5th FEMS Congress of Microbiologists.

The 5th FEMS Congress will be held in Leipzig, Germany on 21-25 July 2013. It takes place every two years. Ready to register? Push the button below.


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High diversity in natural communities is indicated by both traditional, cultivation-based methods and molecular techniques, but the latter have significantly increased richness estimates. The increased ease and reduced cost associated with molecular analysis of microbial communities have fuelled interest in the links between richness, community composition and ecosystem function, and raise questions about our ability to understand mechanisms controlling interactions in highly complex communities. High-throughput sequencing is increasing the depth of sequencing but the relevance of such studies to important ecological questions is often unclear. This article discusses, and challenges, some of the often implicit assumptions made in community studies. It suggests greater focus on ecological questions, more critical analysis of accepted concepts and consideration of the fundamental mechanisms controlling microbial processes and interactions in situ. These considerations indicate that many questions do not require deeper sequence analysis and increased phylogenetic resolution but, rather, require analysis at smaller spatial scale, determination of phenotypic diversity and temporal, rather than snapshot, studies. Increasing realisation of the high richness of microbial communities, and potentially high physiological diversity, also require new conceptual approaches. Volume 81, Issue 3, pages 507–519, September 2012

Highlight Article

The anti-infectives industry appears to rely on the development of further generations of conventional antibiotics which have improved properties but do not offer new modes of action. The majority of antibiotics currently used to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococus aureus (MRSA) infections target bacterial cell wall synthesis or protein synthesis. Reliance on limited targets for MRSA chemotherapy, has contributed to antimicrobial resistance. This Research article examines two alternative approaches to the treatment of S. aureus infection, particularly those caused by MRSA, that have alternative mechanisms of action and that address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance: cationic host defence peptides and agents that target S. aureus virulence. Fitzgerald-Hughes (2012) FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 65: 399-412 P U B L I C AT I O N S PA G E

www.fems-microbiology.org


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The Federation of European Microbiological Societies, FEMS, aims to advance and unify microbiological knowledge. One way of doing so is by publishing five scientific journals. FEMS wishes to recruit a Chief Editor for FEMS Microbiology Reviews, one of the major international microbiological review journals, publishing high-quality papers that are original in their approach and dedicated to topics of current interest that have not been surveyed recently. The ideal candidate would be an experienced microbiologist with a strong track record in microbiology research and publishing, broad knowledge of microbiology and strong network within the microbiology research field. S/he would have the motivation, innovation and strategic vision to ensure the efficient operation of the journal and to advance the current success of the journal over the next 5 years. Experience on editorial boards of other review journals, or responsibility for reviews in other journals is valued but not essential. It is anticipated that the new Chief Editor would take up her/his appointment by March 2013, after a short handover period. Editorial and administrative support is provided through the FEMS Publications Office in Delft, the publisher (Wiley-Blackwell) and the FEMS Publications Manager. Further information can be obtained from the Publications Manager Professor Jim Prosser, the current Chief Editor of FEMS Microbiology Reviews Professor Dieter Haas and the journal homepage. Further information is available on http://bit.ly/FEMSRE_CEadvertL. The deadline for applications is Monday, 26 November 2012.

The FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology journal no longer accepts submissions. Its last issue will appear in December 2012.

Pathogens and Disease, the new journal of FEMS, will be published in 2013.

SUBMIT to Pathogens and Disease TODAY.

www.fems-microbiology.org

P U B L I C AT I O N S PA G E


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www.fems-microbiology.org


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Fellowship Description The FEMS Research Fellowship (FRF) is meant to assist young European scientists in pursuing research up to 3 months in a European country different from where he/she lives. The FRF is intended to support travel and living costs of the Fellow. A FEMS Research Fellowship covers travel (at economy rates) and living costs for the fellow to a maximum of EUR 4 000 (no financial assistance for the host - e.g. bench fees). The deadlines for receipt of applications at FEMS Central Office are 1 December (first round) and 15 June (second round). The regulations and application forms are available electronically. Please read them carefully and check the list at the right before contacting the FEMS Central Office. Upon its receipt at FEMS Central Office, the application is checked for eligibility and completeness. Complete applications are then submitted to the Grants Board. The Grants Board formulates its recommendations to the Executive Committee, which then makes the final decision that will be communicated soon thereafter.

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Application Checklist FEMS Research Fellowships regulations apply to each application for the FEMS Research Fellowships. The requirements consist of, but are not limited to the following: ✓✓ You are an active microbiologist ✓✓ You are younger than 36 years old ✓✓ You are a citizen of a European country ✓✓ You are a member of a FEMS member society (at least for 1 year before applying) ✓✓ You will pursue your project in a European country which is not your country of residence ✓✓ You have thoroughly read the regulations governing FEMS Research Fellowships ✓✓ You have completed the relevant applicatio form available on the FEMS website with the following attachments: • Your curriculum vitae • Letter of reference • Letter of acceptance from the host laboratory • Research project proposal written by you • Your photograph ✓✓ Your application is endorsed by the FEMS Delegate of your society Send your complete application to grants@fems-microbiology.org before the deadline of 1 December 2012.

THE FEMS-LWOFF AWARD IS NOW OPEN FOR NOMINATIONS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION. www.fems-microbiology.org

G R AN T S CO R N ER


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The Dutch Society for Microbiology celebrated its centenary in 2011. This was commemorated through various activities. Public lectures were organised in Leiden and PostNl released a series of stamps showing the diversity of microorganisms and their applications. A congress featuring leading scientists such as former ASM president Joan Bennett, J. Craig Venter, Lynn Margulis and Nobel prize laureates Paul Nurse, Harald zur Hausen and Barry Marshall was also organized. The said event was attended by 1000 microbiologists as well as by His Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander of The Netherlands. He was offered the first copy of the book “the micro-canon� that was written by Dutch microbiologists to introduce people (particularly secondary school students) to the world of microbiology. The highlight of the centenary year was the Royal predicate that was granted by our Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands. The Society is now officially called the Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Microbiologie KNVM (the Royal Dutch Society for Microbiology) . The Society publishes a book on how to safely work with microorganisms. Each year, this book finds its way to schools, universities, research institutes and companies. The Society also has a representative in the editorial board of the journal of the Dutch Society of Biology NIBI to inform Dutch biologists about the highlights of microbiology research and activities of the KNVM. Moreover, KNVM organizes an annual Spring Conference together with the Dutch Society for Medical Microbiology. This conference with about 750 participants includes an awarding ceremony for the best first publication of PhD students, the best Thesis, and the best scientific accomplishments of a starting and a senior post-doc. The ten sections of the Society organize specialized autumn meetS O C I E T Y F E AT U R E

The board of KNVM with the speakers of the plenary meeting of the centenary congress

ings that are attended by 40-100 people. These meetings offer perfect networking opportunities for microbiologists. In 2013, KNVM will co-organize an international meeting of the German Society for General and Applied Microbiology VAAM in Bremen. Moreover, KNVM will co-organize the 6th FEMS Congress in 2015 that will take place in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The KNVM is more than 100 years old but still very vital. At the moment, the society has an all-time record of more than 1400 members. Moreover, many young microbiologists will take up a function in the board of the Society or in the boards of one of its sections next year. In 2011, the first bachelor master (BaMa) congress was organized for microbiology students of Universities and Polytechnics. This was a huge success with 150 participating students. The Society has decided to integrate the BaMa congress in the yearly Spring Congress. The focus on education is also reflected by the fact that master courses of universities are now being linked with meetings of our society. Taking these events in mind, we are confident that the Society will still have an important function for Dutch microbiology in the next 100 years. Text and image by: Dr H.A.B. Wosten, KNVM

www.fems-microbiology.org


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A message from newly co-opted Member-at-Large Dr Joanna Verran I am very excited to have been co-opted onto FEMS executive as member-at-large with a remit to look at microbiology education. Over the next few months, I am hoping to bring together a group of representatives of member societies to discuss issues of concern related to education. For example: Is there a core microbiology curriculum (as ASM have indicated)? Are there particular topics that are difficult to cover? Is practical microbiology under threat? Is there opportunity to exchange/disseminate examples of successful good practice? How do we inform the general public, teachers and schoolchildren about microbiology? If you are interested in microbiology education and would like the opportunity to represent your society on this group as we develop a strategy for FEMS, please contact your FEMS Member Society representative as soon as possible, and ask for your name to be passed to the FEMS Central Office. I would like to contact likely members in the new year.

Dr Joanna Verran (middle) interacts with participants of the Int’l Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society (IBBS) congress in Vienna, Austria in 2011. She is also a Co-opted Member of the IBBS.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the father of microbiology, was born in the month of October -- 24 October to be exact -- 380 years ago. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules, and which we now refer to as microorganisms. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. He did not write any books but wrote many letters.

www.fems-microbiology.org

I N I T I AT I V E S


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MICROBIOLOGY TIDBITS

DEADLINES

Honeybees Harbor Antibiotic-Resistance Genes Bacteria in the guts of honeybees are highly resistant to the antibiotic tetracycline, probably as a result of decades of preventive antibiotic use in domesticated hives, researchers from Yale University found out.

1 December 2012 15 June 2013

FEMS Research Fellowships 15 December 2012 1 June 2013 FEMS National & Regional Congresses Grants

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Leaves of Carob Tree, Source of Chocolate Substitute, Fight Food-Poisoning Bacteria Leaves of the plant that yields carob -- the substitute for chocolate that some consider healthier than chocolate -- are a rich source of antibacterial substances ideal for fighting the microbe responsible for listeriosis, a serious form of food poisoning, according to a report in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

1 March 2013 FEMS Meeting Grants (for meetings to be held in 2014) 1 April 2013 1 September 2013 FEMS Meeting Attendance Grants

Source: American Chemical Society

FEMS-Sponsored Meetings, October - November 2012 0 3 N o v e m b e r 2 012 First Congress of Baltic Microbiologists Riga, Latvia 14 N o v e m b e r 2 012 Marine Microbiology and Biotechnology: Biodiscovery, Biodiversity and Bioremediation University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Cold Viruses Point the Way to New Cancer Therapies Cold viruses generally get a bad rap -- which they’ve certainly earned -- but new findings by a team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggest that these viruses might also be a valuable ally in the fight against cancer. Source: Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Evolving Microbes Help Engineers Turn Bio-Oil Into Advanced Biofuels Microbes are working away in an Iowa State University laboratory to ferment biofuels from the sugar and acetate produced by rapidly heating biomass such as corn stalks and sawdust. Source: Iowa State University

The FEMS Affiliates Letter is a production of FEMS Central Office

Keverling Buismanweg 4, 2628 CL Delft, The Netherlands T: 0031 15 269 3920 | F: 0031 15 269 3921 | E: fems@fems-microbiology.org

The voice of microbiology in Europe. We advance and unify microbiology knowledge. www.fems-microbiology.org

FAL Oct2012  

FEMS Affiliates Letter, october 2012 issue

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