Microbiology Today May 2006 - History and miscellany

This issue of Microbiology Today looks at some of the fascinating stories from the history of microbiology, amongst other topics.

The founders of modern microbiology - the 1891 London Congress of Hygiene and Demography
International scientific meetings are nothing new. Philip Mortimer describes and early gathering of bacteriologists.

The fossil hunter, Queen Victoria's doctor and the germ theory of disease
Before the development of the germ theory, people generally believed that infections were caused by the spread of bad air or 'miasma'. Milton Wainwright shows that as early as the 1840s there were speculations that microscopic organisms might be responsible for disease.

Wartime penicillin still packing a punch
Surprisingly, some antibiotic tablets are still potent after 60 years, as Eric Sidebottom, Alan Smith, Neil Stokes and Jeff Errington discovered recently.

The world in miniature: sealed ecosystems
How long can life persist? Peter Sneath and Dave Roberts take a look at an experiment designed to find the answer to this question.

Bacterial swarming: a tale of physics and genetics
It's amazing how some bacteria are capable of rapid, mass migration over a moist surface, as Barry Holland, Daria Julkowska, Kassem Hamze and Simone Séror describe.

Comment: Chronicling microbiology
The discoveries and work of microbiologists are important, but researching the history of microbiology is not that easy, according to Michael Warboys.

Dariel Burdass describes some of the important discoveries in medical microbiology and the scientists behind them.

Gradline Editor, Jane Westwell, takes a look at 'Working in the commercial sector' and highlights the differences between commercial and academic research.

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:

  • Recent changes in the bird 'flu virus
  • One giant step for algae
  • New ways to tackle gas gangrene
  • Responding to the environment

Other items include:

Last updated 24 April 2006