ASM News

ASM News

ASM Press Covers Biotechnology

ASM Press has been adding significantly to its catalog of biotechnology titles to help members, and other customers, stay abreast of the developments in this rapidly changing and sometimes controversial area of science.

Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology: A Guide for Students, 2nd Edition

This month sees the publication of the second edition of the best-selling Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology by Helen Kreuzer and Adrianne Massey. Adopted by numerous schools, this unique textbook/activities manual covers basic molecular biology and offers imaginative dry labs and wet labs that can be done by both college and pre-college students. An innovative section addresses the social issues and public concerns of biotechnology, and extensive appendixes provide background information on basic laboratory techniques and teaching resources. The book is designed to interest an international teaching audience and allows teachers to compellingly incorporate the "new biology" into the biological sciences or general science curriculum.

Biotechnology Explorations: Applying the Fundamentals

Also published in 2000, Biotechnology Explorations: Applying the Fundamentals by Judith A. Scheppler, Patricia E. Cassin, and Rosa M. Gambier offers a broad collection of college-level experiments that provides students with a hands-on understanding of biotechnology and molecular biology, including applications and practical uses. It is an ideal companion volume to another ASM Press title, Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA, Second Edition by Bernard R. Glick and Jack J. Pasternak. A perennial best-seller, Molecular Biotechnology covers both the underlying scientific principles and the wide-ranging industrial, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and biomedical applications of recombinant DNA technology.

Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2nd Edition

ASM Press's biotechnology offerings go beyond classroom resources. The 1999 title, Manual of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Second Edition by Arnold L. Demain and Julian E. Davies is a valuable "how-to" resource, the structure of which resembles the sequence of operation involved in the development of a commercial biological process and product. Describing the means by which traditional industrial microbiology, as well as modern technology, can be carried out in academic or industrial laboratories, pilot plants, and factories, MIMB brings together in one place the platform biological and engineering methodologies required to develop a successful industrial process through culture isolation and development.

ASM Press will also add a biotechnology title to its general reader list early in 2001. The Recombinant DNA Controversy: Science, Politics, and the Public Interest 1974-1981 by Donald S. Fredrickson tells the story of the recombinant DNA controversy and its revolutionary impact on modern science. As director of the National Institutes of Health during this period, Fredrickson was in a perfect position to witness and share in the dynamics of this important time. The Recombinant DNA Controversy will be published in spring 2001.

BET Sponsors Planning Retreat

ASM: Board of Education and Training

The increased competition for undergraduate and graduate students to pursue degrees in the microbiological sciences has intensified in a strong economy in the previous five years. Pressure from university administrators to eliminate laboratory courses and consolidate programs to minimize expenses has become commonplace. The woeful state of teacher training in elementary through high school education has heightened parents' concerns for quality undergraduate education. These national concerns were the focal point for the Board of Education and Training's planning retreat held in Washington, D.C., on 23-25 June 2000.

"The Board will assume a leadership role in attending to these issues. We are well-positioned to address these issues with the five standing committees of the Board, including the Committees on Precollege, Undergraduate, and Graduate Education, as well as the Committees on Minority and Distance Education. It is through the synergistic effects of these five committees, working collectively and collaboratively, that we will be most effective and efficient in the upcoming years," says Board Chair Clifford W. Houston of the University of Texas Medical Branch.

The members of the Board reaffirmed their commitment to promote microbiology as a discipline at all educational levels, improve microbiology teaching at all levels, sponsor programs to attract and retain students, provide professional development for educators, and increase participation of individuals from underrepresented groups. In addition, the Board identified a new strategic focus, which had not been identified three years ago but which will receive increasing attention in the upcoming years. The Board will promote the recognition of scholarship of undergraduate teaching in microbiology. "To achieve this goal, the Board plans to (i) provide information about scholarship in teaching and learning, (ii) train members to conduct scholarly work, providing models and mentors, (iii) develop venues for undergraduate faculty to demonstrate scholarly work in undergraduate education, and (iv) recognize and reward scholarship in teaching and learning," explains Neil Baker, chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Education.

The Board reaffirmed its charge to promote access, excellence, professional development, and advancement in microbiology education, serving both students and educators. For students, the Board currently provides fellowship programs and career information. The Board will sponsor two new initiatives, beginning in 2001: the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (formerly the MARC/MBRS Symposium), a collaboration with the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences' Division of Minority Opportunities in Research; and the one-week summer institute for advanced graduate students in the microbiological or related sciences. The latter program is a collaborative project with the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


The Board provides currently professional development programs for educators, such as the annual undergraduate microbiology education conference and the one-week summer institutes on inquiry-based learning in microbiology education. In addition, members can subscribe to several on-line resources for improving undergraduate microbiology education, such as the triennial newsletter, an extensive database of visual and curriculum resources as well as product reviews and resources and the first peer-reviewed journal in undergraduate microbiology education, launched in May 2000.

In the previous 10 years, the Board has evolved, focusing more extensively on student and educator programs, particularly at the undergraduate level. This evolution has resulted in a proposed name change from Board of Education and Training to Education Board, a title that more accurately reflects the Board's mission. Another change, made during spring 2000, was to transfer the Committee on International Microbiology Education (IMEC), a former BET standing committee, to the Council Policy Committee's International Committee, a standing committee of the Council Policy Committee responsible for the Society's international initiatives. The IMEC is responsible for the International Fellowship program, launched in 1996, to sponsor advanced students in the microbiological sciences to study with an ASM member. In 1999, the Committee launched a complementary program, the International Professorship Program, to sponsor ASM member scientists to spend two to three weeks at an institution outside the United States, teaching, advising, and mentoring students.

Houston concludes, "ASM's education programs have expanded significantly over the previous 10 years, and we are excited to continue the trend. This expansion was made possible from the sustained support of the ASM membership. First, each year, 40% of the ASM membership dues are earmarked for ASM's education programs. In addition, five years ago, the ASM established an endowment, currently worth $5 million, for fellowships, providing students' stipends, and travel funds. This endowment is an investment into the future. And finally, scores of volunteers from mentors and advisers, to reviewers and planners, to ambassadors and leaders, make the Board's work possible. We embrace our plan and look forward to another productive period."

American Academy of Microbiology

Academy Report on Antimicrobial Resistance Available Online

Antimicrobial Resistance: An Ecological Perspective

American Academy of Microbiology Critical Issues Colloquia

A new report, Antimicrobial Resistance: an Ecological Perspective, is now available from the American Academy of Microbiology Colloquia Program. The document synthesizes the conclusions reached at the colloquium held 16-18 July 1999 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The meeting brought together a panel of more than 30 invited scientists from diverse specialty areas, including environmental, agricultural, public health, pharmaceutical development, and infectious disease research fields. Participants spent several days in small working groups and deliberated the issues, determined to take an inclusive view of the problems of increasing resistance to antimicrobials and consequences for human, animal, and environmental health.

Antimicrobial Resistance: an Ecological Perspective provides an overview of the current situation and offers potential solutions. It emphasizes the interrelated effects of resistance for each component of the biosphere and stresses that not enough is understood about the impact of resistance on the environment as a whole.

Factors that contribute to the development of resistance are discussed, including a variety of medical practices and the extensive use of antibiotics in agriculture and aquaculture. Issues surrounding surveillance systems and information access and use are outlined. The report concludes with specific recommendations for future scientific research and communication and education efforts.

The report is available exclusively online in PDF format and may be reproduced. Copies of Antimicrobial Resistance: An Ecological Perspective can be downloaded. To view publications from previous colloquia, visit the Academy Web site or contact the American Academy of Microbiology at for more information.


Deceased Members

William Ball of Erdenheim, Pa., died 31 July 2000. He graduated with a B.Sc. Degree in Biology February 1943, an M.Sc. Degree in Biology in June 1949, and an earned D.Sc. Degree in 1950 from the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia (formerly the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science). During the period in which he was in graduate school he taught Biology at the college. After graduation he taught Biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.

Ball served in the Medical Corps in the South Pacific during World War II and in South Korea. He was a Microbiologist with a speciality in Parasitology and Malaria eradication. He was a friend of Syngman Rhee and was present at the signing of the truce. He retired from the Service as a Captain. After discharge he served in the reserves.

Ball served as Parasitologist and Microbiologist at Northern, Southern, and Northern Liberties sections of Albert Einstein Hospital. He was codirector and owner of the Park Clinical Laboratories in Philadelphia. When the Park Clinical Laboratories was absorbed by the Damon Clinical Laboratories, Bill became Microbiologist and codirector of this laboratory. During this time he was a consultant for the Veterans Administration Hospital in Philadelphia.

After retirement in 1981, he continued his consulting and teaching duties. He was a Professor of Biology at Beaver College and then became chairman of the Science Department. During this time he also taught Microbiology in the evenings at Chestnut Hill College of Philadelphia, Pa. He also served as a Microbiologist at the Kennedy Hospital in N.J.

Ball was given an honor from the Chapel of Four Chaplains. This award was given in recognition of outstanding service to all people regardless of race or faith. Ball was a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Branch of the American Society for Microbiology and of ASM. He was made emeritus in both groups upon retirement. In the local ASM Branch he served on the Workshop committee for many years, and was cochairman of that committee along with Alan Evangelista. Bill also was a member of the American Society of Bioanalysists (AAB).

Ball was active in the Erdenheim, Pa., Town Watch and was also active in the Township Meetings.

Ball leaves behind his wife, Sylvia, a son David Ball, a daughter Lisa, and two grandchildren, Rebecca and Matthew. He was very supportive of his family and especially of his wife, Sylvia, when she ran for township treasurer in 1996. He also volunteered in Red Cross Blood Bank Drives, and was in charge of a region. He was also active with his wife in working with retarded children and in other hospital activities. He was a member of the Ex-resident Society of Albert Einstein hospital for over 40 years. His professional contributions and warm friendship will be greatly missed.

Wee Tee, Ph.D., died on 14 August 2000 at the age of 49. Wee was born in Malaysia, one of 10 children in a Malaysian-Chinese family, and came to Australia in 1971 to complete her education. Her final high school year was spent in a country with a different language and culture, but she succeeded in gaining entrance to Melbourne University and completed a Bachelor of Science degree (1972-1976), majoring in microbiology. She was so fascinated by bacteriology that she wanted to pursue this as a career. The only hospital pathology job she could find was in serology, and it was two years before she managed to find a microbiology position at Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital. She never looked back, enthusiastically learning as much as possible about the common and rarer pathogens in a work environment that encouraged research. She became adept at culturing difficult bacteria, such as Campylobacter, Legionella, and Helicobacter pylori, and began publishing research papers in 1985. She completed a M.Sc. in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1993; her thesis was entitled Typing of Helicobacter pylori). In 1988 Wee was promoted to Specialist Microbiologist (Development and Research), and Scientist-in-charge of the Campylobacter Reference Laboratory (now part of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory).

She consulted for companies wanting to develop diagnostic kits, joined ASM in 1982, was active in the local branch of the Australian Society for Microbiology, presented at many national and overseas conferences, and was a member of the International Committee on Campylobacter Typing. She collaborated with many laboratories around Australia and overseas.

I knew Wee from our undergraduate years at Melbourne University, and while we had remained in contact socially since then, from 1988 onwards her research interests brought her into my laboratory for short periods to sequence 16S rRNA genes from the many interesting bacteria that came her way. One isolate of Desulfovibrio was given the proposed species name, "fairfieldensis," referring to the hospital she worked in for many years, and that was recently closed down. Wee was always enthusiastic about her work, and this was never more evident that when she was teaching others. I involved her in undergraduate practical classes where her enthusiasm and experience were highly regarded by the students.

Wee never married, but lived happily in a large suburban house with her two dogs. Her work was a major part of her life, but she also enjoyed gardening, swimming, watching cricket, and socializing with her large circle of friends. A lung cancer was discovered late in 1998 (she never smoked); there followed a succession of traumatic chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, along with endless tests and hospitalizations. She bore it all with dignity and perseverance, striving to live her life to the full, and continuing to work as long as she could. Above all, she maintained her wonderful sense of humor and her genuine interest in others.

Mike Dyall-Smith
University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

William Clarence Haynes, 87, of Peoria, Ill., died on 27 June 2000. Born 17 August 1912 in New York, N.Y., to William Henry and Lucy Thirza Holthusen Haynes, he married Dorothy Starr on 29 June 1940 in Waterloo, N.Y. She survives. Also surviving are one son, William of Eugene, Ore.; one daughter, Mrs. Stephen William (Dorothy) Chance of Clayton, N.C.; three grandsons; one sister, Doris Tilly of East Marion, N.Y.; two nieces; and two nephews. He was preceded in death by two brothers and one sister.

A World War II veteran, he served as a major in the Army Sanitary Corps with the 60th General Hospital in New Guinea and the Philippines. A 1935 graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., he received his doctorate degree in 1946. He worked at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., for several years. In 1941, he moved to Peoria, where he was curator of bacteria far the culture collection At the Northern Regional Research Laboratory, retiring in July 1975. He was on the Dextran team that received the Distinguished Service Unit Award of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1955.

He represented the laboratory at the International Association meetings of Microbiological Societies in Montreal; at a Culture Collection Conference in Ottawa, Canada; the International Association of Microbiological Societies in Moscow; and at the 1968 International Conference of Culture Collections in Tokyo. He served as chairman of several national and international scientific committees. For several years, he was on the committee for the Peoria County Science Fair and chairman of the Papers Division of the fair.

Memorials may be made to UNICEF; Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery AL 36104; or Methodist Hospice.

David Paretsky, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology at the University of Kansas, died on 2 January 2000 in Lawrence, Kans. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary, who died in Lawrence in February of 1998. He is survived by four sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren.

Paretsky was born 15 November 1918 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the City College of New York in 1939. He began graduate studies at Iowa State College in 1939, and was married to Mary Edwards, an Illinois native, in Iowa in December of 1942. His graduate studies at Iowa State College were interrupted by World War II. He served from 1943-1946 in the U.S. Army as part of the South Pacific campaign. He returned to his academic studies and received his Ph.D. in Bacteriological Chemistry with C. H. Werkman in 1948 at Iowa State. He was an assistant professor of biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 1948-1951. He and his family then moved to Lawrence, where he was an assistant, and then associate professor in the Bacteriology Department at the University of Kansas from 1951-1958.. Paretsky and his students teamed with Cora Down's lab in studies of tularemia and Q-fever. He was promoted to full Professor in 1958 and served in that capacity until 1989. He also served as chairperson of the Department of Microbiology (then Bacteriology) at the University of Kansas from 1958 to 1976. During his academic career, he served as a study section member for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (1963-1966), the National Cancer Institute (1971-1973), and the National Science Foundation. He was also an Advisory Committee member for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Biological Research from 1983 until his retirement.

Paretsky contributed greatly to the undergraduate and graduate teaching and research programs in microbiology at Kansas, and became a University Distinguished Professor in 1978. Known for his acerbic wit and quick mind, he was loved by many students and respected by all. He mentored more than 25 graduate students, many of whom have gone on to serve notable careers in academic science and in the private sector. He is best remembered for his original studies on the enzymes and metabolic pathways in the obligately intracellular (rickettsia-like) organism Coxiella burnetii, including the demonstration of glucose-metabolizing enzymes within extracts derived from the organism. These results, controversial in their day, were confirmed many years later when Hackstadt and Williams (1981) demonstrated acid-dependent glucose metabolism in the organism. His later work focused on animal host metabolism and altered macromolecular synthesis in hosts caused by infection with C. burnetii, and in particular regulation controlled by phosphorylation mechanisms.

A commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Paretsky frequently traveled to sites of epidemics to make recommendations for controlling the spread of outbreaks and was often consulted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. He was one of the four founding members of the American Society for Rickettsiology, which was initiated in 1978 and chartered in 1981, and served as President of that society from 1987-1989. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a member of ASM, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Society of Cell Biology.

The hard work and good times we had in his lab as students, and the tremendous support and encouragement all of us received from him in later years, will always be remembered.

William Picking
University of Kansas, Lawrence

Herbert Thompson
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Ga.


ASM Branches on the Web

The following ASM Branches have established sites on the World Wide Web:




Connecticut Valley

Eastern New York

Eastern Pennsylvania









New Jersey (Theobald Smith Society)

New York City

North Central

North Carolina

Northern California



Puerto Rico

Rocky Mountain

South Carolina

South Central


Southern California



Washington, D.C.


ASM Divisions on the Web

The following ASM Divisions have established sites on the World Wide Web:

Division A, Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Division B, Microbial Pathogenesis

Division C, Clinical Microbiology

Division D, General Medical Microbiology

Division E, Immunology

Division F, Medical Mycology

Division G, Mycoplasmology

Division I, General Microbiology

Division K, Microbial Physiology and Metabolism

Division M, Bacteriophage

Division N, Microbial Ecology

Division O, Fermentation and Biotechnology

Division P, Food Microbiology

Division Q, Environmental and General Applied Microbiology

Division R, Systematic & Evolutionary Microbiology

Division T, RNA Viruses

Division U, Mycobacteriology

Division W, Microbiology Education

Division X, Molecular, Cellular and General Microbiology of Eukaryotes

Division Y, Public Health

Division Z, Animal Health Microbiology

Members are encouraged to visit these Web pages, which are also accessible through the Membership section of the ASM Web site.