Microbiology Today August 2005
Cancer is a major killer, affecting around one
in three people in Western societies. This issue of Microbiology Today
focuses on the many relationships between microbes and cancer.
An introduction to
viruses and cancer
Over the years, researchers have identified many factors that increase the
of developing certain types of cancer. The link between viruses and cancer
one of the pivotal discoveries in cancer research and these days it is
agreed that viruses are involved in 10-20 % of all cases of cancer, as
Bacteria in cancer
The observation that bacteria could be used as anti-cancer agents dates
back 150 years.
Caroline Springer and colleagues illustrate how bacteria can be used
inside tumours to
activate chemotherapeutic drugs only where they are needed, limiting
unacceptable side effects.
This bacterially directed therapy is in its infancy, but early results
show it has potential
as a new weapon in the fight against cancer.
Papillomaviruses cause a range of diseases, from benign warts and verrucas
and skin cancers. Just as two vaccines go into the last stage of clinical
Julie Burns and Norman Maitland take a look at the role these viruses play
Nobel microbes define
the art of cell division
Understanding the control of cell division and how it can go wrong is
in the fight against cancer. This knowledge can offer opportunities to
new therapies and make existing ones more effective. Iain Hagan and Paul
explain the central role that microbes have played in unlocking the
the cell division cycle.
Killer into cure -
The idea of virotherapy, the use of viruses for treatment of diseases, is
not a new
one - trials using viruses to treat cancer were planned as early as the
advances in genetic engineering led to a new era in this field and
offers great promise for the treatment of cancer, as Moira Brown
microbiologist's view of astrobiology
Is astrobiology really a science? Does it involve microbes? Howard Gest
gives his opinion of this topical area.
Dariel Burdass describes SGM's new teaching resources, as well as the
education and science promotion activities.
Gradline Editor, Jane Westwell, takes a look at 'Surviving your PhD',
a workshop for postgraduates held at the Heriot-Watt meeting in April.
Hot off the
Press highlights some new developments in
microbiological research published in the Society's journals -
Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, International
Journal of Systematic and
Evolutionary Microbiology and Journal of Medical Microbiology.
Topics covered include:
- First steps toward new CF treatment
- Olive fly symbiosis
- In-patient evolution of the hepatitis C virus
- Fungal sex
Other items include:
Last updated 24 October 2005