2016 State of the Union
December 18, 2015 - Statement of the ASM on the FY 2016 Congressional Funding Increases for Research
Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending package on December 18 that funds federal agencies for fiscal year 2016. The omnibus appropriations bill (HR 2029) provides $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $2 billion increase and nearly 7 percent over FY 2015.
President Obama has proclaimed Nov. 16-22 “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” Get Smart Week builds on the momentum generated at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship, where more than 150 organizations pledged to improve antibiotic use and slow the spread of antibiotic resistance.
During asm2015 in New Orleans, the Public and Scientific Affairs Board (PSAB) sponsored the Federal Funding Opportunities Breakfast, which allowed attendees to learn about funding opportunities available to microbiologists from several federal agencies that support biomedical, environmental and life sciences research.
In November members of the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities participated in a Hill Day. They met with their Senators and Representatives and discussed issues related to the microbial sciences and underrepresented minority scientists.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has requested that we post the following statement to ASM members regarding the inadvertent shipment of anthrax to laboratories.
The White House released a memorandum on the next steps to enhance biosafety and biosecurity in the United States. The memo highlights the conduct of parallel federal and broad stakeholder reviews to generate specific recommendations to strengthen the U.S. government's biosafety and biosecurity practices and oversight system.
The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is seeking feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, and other stakeholder groups on both the overarching questions that unite all Microbiome Research.
University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, Genomics Laboratory
Dr. Karyna Rosario earned her B.S. in Industrial Microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus and her M.S. in Soil, Water, and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona. Dr. Rosario then completed her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography with an emphasis on environmental virology at the University of South Florida (USF). Dr. Rosario continues to do research as research associate at the Genomics Laboratory at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science where she completed her Ph.D. and postdoc. Throughout her career Dr. Rosario has employed metagenomic approaches to describe viral diversity in different environments and organisms. Notable work includes the incorporation of viral metagenomics into virus surveillance efforts (both clinical and water quality control programs) to enhance traditional virus detection methods, the identification of a novel bioindicator (Pepper mild mottle virus) that may improve health risk assessments associated with viral pathogens in different environments impacted by wastewater contamination, the discovery of circular single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses in invertebrates, the use of top insect predators to investigate the diversity of ssDNA viruses circulating in insect populations, and the use of insect vectors to expand the known diversity and biogeographical range of plant viral pathogens. Her current research focuses on investigating novel ssDNA viruses in insects and fungi and their evolutionary relationships to vertebrate and plant ssDNA viruses. In addition to her own research, Dr. Rosario oversees undergraduate and graduate student projects in the lab and enjoys participating in outreach activities to teach the general public and K-12 students about environmental microbiology.
Bulk analyses of viral genomes (i.e., viral metagenomics) present in different environmental samples have revealed the ubiquitous and diverse nature of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses that encode a conserved replication initiator protein (Rep) in the marine environment. However, few studies have isolated ssDNA viruses directly from organisms. Although eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding ssDNA (CRESS-DNA) viruses include animal and plant pathogens of economic importance, this type of viruses has only been recently detected in invertebrates. The present study [Front. Microbiol. 6:696. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00696 (2015)] contributes to efforts exploring the diversity of eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding ssDNA (CRESS-DNA) in the marine environment by surveying CRESS-DNA viruses in various marine invertebrate species. Twenty-seven novel and highly divergent CRESS-DNA genomes were recovered from 21 invertebrate species, including species for which viruses have not been previously reported. Approximately one third of the marine invertebrate associated viruses identified here formed a distinct clade of CRESS-DNA viruses that may represent a novel family. In addition, putative structural proteins encoded within CRESS-DNA viral genomes where investigated for the presence of predicted intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). The IDR analysis revealed conserved patterns of disorder that may be used to complement similarity-based searches to identify divergent structural proteins within novel genomes. Overall, this study expands our knowledge of CRESS-DNA viruses associated with invertebrates and explores a new tool to evaluate divergent structural proteins encoded by these viruses.
The ASM has been asked to submit comments on the framework for the new National Institutes of Health strategic plan framework.
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