2003 Press Releases

ASM Publication Provides Guidance for Shipment of Biological Agents
WASHINGTON, DC – December 22, 2003 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) announces the release of a new publication designed to help scientists understand and comply with the rules and regulations governing the shipment of biological and infectious substances.

ASM Recognizes World Science Day for Peace and Development
WASHINGTON, DC – November 10, 2003 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) joins the United National Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in recognizing today as World Science Day for Peace and Development (WSDPD).

American Society for Microbiology Survey Reveals That As Many As 30 Percent of Travelers Don’t Wash Hands After Using Public Restrooms at Airports
Chicago, Illinois--September 15, 2003 -- Does it take an outbreak of a frightening, potentially fatal infectious disease like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or a gastrointestinal illness on a cruise ship to get people to follow Mom’s advice to “wash your hands after using the bathroom?”  Apparently, it may.

Dr. Thomas E. Shenk Becomes American Society for Microbiology President
Washington, DC—July 1, 2003—Thomas E. Shenk, Ph.D., Elkins Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, has assumed the presidency of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). He was elected in 2001 and has served as president-elect for the past year.

Reporters from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel To Receive American Society for Microbiology Public Communications Award
WASHINGTON, DC—April 25, 2003—Two journalists from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have been named the recipients of the American Society for Microbiology 2003 Public Communication Award. The winning entry, written by John Fauber and Mark Johnson, was a two-part series on the arrival of chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin that also explored the complex science of the abnormal proteins called prions and the diseases, such as chronic wasting disease, they are believed to cause.

Life Sciences Publishers Take Steps to Address Potential Misuse of Information by Bioterrorists
DENVER - February 15, 2003 --"The scientific community is beginning to come together to establish norms for information communication in the age of bioterrorism," Dr. Ronald Atlas, president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), said at a symposium, "Biosecurity-Science in the Balance," at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "This is a work in progress, however, " he emphasized, "and we will have to continually seek to improve the process and more specifically define what sort of information might constitute a dangerous 'cookbook.'"

ASM Supports Strong Growth for FY2004 NIH Budget
Washington, DC-February 3, 2003-The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) recommends continued strong growth for the FY 2004 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to sustain and expand on the extraordinary progress in medical research that has been set in motion during the past 5 years by the commitment to double the budget of the nation's premier biomedical research enterprise.

Gene Vital to Radiation Resistance in Bacteria
NEW ORLEANS - January 31, 2003 -- Researchers from Louisiana State University have identified a gene in the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans that they believe is vital to the organism's ability to withstand high levels of radiation. They report their findings today at the 3rd ASM/TIGR Conference on Microbial Genomes.

Agrobacterium and Pufferfish May Share Distant Relative
NEW ORLEANS - January 30, 2003 -- What does a bacterium that causes tumors in plants have in common with a puffer fish? They both share a similar gene, suggesting that they may have a common ancestor on the evolutionary tree of life, says Clarence Kado of the University of California, Davis. He presents his findings today at the 3rd ASM/TIGR Conference on Microbial Genomes