Microbiology Today August 2002

In this issue we celebrate the formation of a new SGM special interest group which aims to support the study of eukaryotic microbiology. It will provide a forum for the discussion of the molecular, cellular and organismal biology of eukaryotic microbes such as filamentous fungi, yeasts, slime moulds, protozoa and microalgae, as new convener Clive Price describes. Compared with bacterial pathogens, only a few fungi cause life-threatening infections in humans. As Al Brown explains, these mycoses are becoming more prevalent, are harder to treat and are often diagnosed too late. One of the reasons fungi can exploit so many niches is they can metabolize a wide range of compounds. Mark Caddick explores how, given a choice, they select what they eat. The DNA in every living cell is constantly subjected to damaging events. Fiona Benson and Tony Carr describe how the integrity of genes is maintained. The chloroplast is the site of photosynthesis in plant and algal cells. Saul Purton explains how this important organelle evolved from a photosynthetic bacterium. Remarkably, certain parasitic protists also have plastids which indicate photosynthetic ancestors. These may be a possible target for the drugs which are desperately needed in the fight against protozoan diseases, as Paul McKean describes. The social amoeba is a fascinating organism which uses the cAMP signalling system to control the dissemination of its spores, as Pauline Schaap explains. Equal opportunities are important for people who take a career break, or who have disabilities. Education Officer Liz Sockett lists some of the schemes now available and describes new legislation that will affect all universities.

Hot off the Press [Acrobat PDF] highlights some new developments in microbiological research published in the Society's journals - Microbiology, Journal of General Virology and International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Topics covered include:
  • Wanted - dead or alive!
  • Spoiling the picnic
  • A tasty bit of hot property
  • DNA recombination and diversity in phytoplasmas
  • FMD revisited 1 - pinpointing the genes responsible for infectiousness and virulence
  • FMD revisited 2 - limiting the spread
  • Capsules and carriers - the puzzle of meningitis pathogenicity

Other items include:

Last updated 29 May 2003