Today November 1999
This issue is the last to be published in the current millennium. With
this in mind, Allan
Hamilton, former chairman of the UK National Committee for Microbiology,
the significance of microbes over the past 1000 years and offers some
thoughts on the
challenges that will face microbiologists in the future.
Other articles focus on the hot topic of genomics, an area of
research that offers
exciting potential for solving many microbiological problems in the coming
Baumberg, Professor of Genetics at the University of Leeds, introduces the
an overview of the techniques involved in sequencing microbial
the importance of bioinformatics in making sense of the results.
James McInerney, National University of Ireland, Maynooth and Kenneth
Trinity College Dublin, expand on the introductory outline with an in
depth coverage of
genomic analysis methods.
Sequence homology tells scientists how genes are related to each
other and what
their history is. Andrew Davison, a herpesvirologist at the MRC Institute
Glasgow, explains how genomics is leading to a greater understanding of
the role of gene
capture in viral evolution.
It is not difficult to predict that the first data revolution of the
21st century - the
ability to sequence and compare the entire genomes of organisms - will
bring with it many
new insights into the genetical history of life on earth. Eddie Holmes, a
Research Fellow at
the University of Oxford, expands on this theme.
Professor Jean Lobry of the Université Claude Bernard de Lyon, in
a novel look at genomics, describing how to make DNA walk and climb
Why not try out the techniques he describes for yourself?
With ever-growing problems of antibiotic resistance, the fight is
pharmaceutical companies to find new antimicrobial drugs to combat
in the very near future. In this article, Aileen Allsop, who is
Vice-President and Head of
Infection Therapy Area for AstraZeneca in Cheshire, describes how genomics
bioinformatics are transforming research in this field.
Horizontal transfer of genes in bacteria has been studied for
especially with regard to extrachromosomal elements. Genomic sequencing is
providing increasing evidence for widespread exchange of chromosomal
Professor Paul Roy, of the University of Laval, Québec, gives an
overview of the
mechanisms of genetic exchange and how genomic data can be searched for
Looking back, instead of looking forward, virologist Peter Balfe reviews
the evidence that
Edward Jenner was the pioneer of vaccination. Did the honour really
Lady Mary Wortley Montague?
Hot off the Press
[Acrobat PDF] highlights some
new developments in microbiological research that have been published in
journals - Microbiology, Journal of General Virology and
Journal of Systematic Bacteriology. Topics covered include:
[Acrobat PDF] covers the 1999
Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee competition for schools - a
event where students were required to Make a Meal with Microbes.
- Arctic sulfate-reducers - new psycrophilic strains of SRBs
- Whipple's Disease - linking symptoms with strains
- Trouble in paradise - HTLV-1 in Polynesia
- Microbial diversity in the guts of Australian mammals
- Secrets of pathogenicity - the characteristics needed by bacteria to
Other items include:
Last updated 29 May 2003