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Press Releases

Welcome to ASM's Newsroom, a resource for journalists seeking information relating to the microbiological sciences. Members of the media and the general public can access current and archived press releases highlighting the latest research published in ASM's journals or presented at our meetings.

Washington, DC - March 27, 2015 -Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the Journal of Virology, a journal published by the American Society for Microbiology. MERS, which emerged in humans last year in the Saudi Arabian peninsula, causes severe respiratory disease, with a high mortality rate of 35-40 percent. No specific therapy is currently available.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, DC - March 24, 2015 - In the first study of an entire wine grapevine’s microbiome, researchers have found that the microbes associated with the grapes, leaves and flowers are largely derived from the soil microbes found around the plant’s roots. The findings, published in mBio the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could help dissect how microbes affect a wine’s properties and pave the way for biotechnological advances for producing hardier crops.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

WASHINGTON, DC – March 24, 2015 – The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum produces chemical compounds called terpenes that give off odors that attract mosquitoes, according to new research. The study, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, might explain why the insects are more likely to bite humans or animals infected with the organism.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, DC - March 19, 2015 -  A new microarray-based tool, called VaginArray, offers the potential to provide a fast, reliable and low-cost assessment of vaginal health and diagnoses of infections. The research is published ahead of print March 2, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – March 10, 2015 – Households can serve as a reservoir for transmitting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Once the bacteria enters a home, it can linger for years, spreading from person to person and evolving genetically to become unique to that household.

Washington, DC - February 20, 2015 - Japanese investigators have demonstrated that a novel fungus can bioaccumulate the industrially important “rare earth” element, dysprosium, used in the magnets of generators and motors, as well as in smart phones and other electronics, and high technology, generally from mine drainage and industrial liquid waste. This discovery could lead to recycling dysprosium from these wastes, said first author, Takumi Horiike, researcher in the Rare Metal Bioresearch Center at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama, Japan. The research was published ahead of print on February 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - March 4, 2015 - Since 2003, the H5N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate for the latter. Luckily, this virus has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but a small number of mutations could change that, resulting in a pandemic. Now a team of investigators from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center, and MacroGenics have developed an antibody which has proven 100 percent protective against the virus in two species of animal models. The research is published ahead of print February 11, in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

WASHINGTON, DC - March 3, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has received a $161,460 multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help support the research being presented at ASM’s Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). Through their Global Health Division, the foundation will not only partner with ASM to host joint sessions during the conference, they are also providing a travel award for scientists through The Gates Travel Award program.

In January of 2015, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows.

Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - February 19, 2015 – A new comprehensive analysis from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, involving leading International Ebola researchers, examines what is known about transmission of the Ebola virus and cautions that the public health community should not rule out the possibility of respiratory transmission. Prior to the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa there have been only 24 reported Ebola outbreaks with approximately 2,400 cases reported over the previous 39 years. Evidence suggests that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, however, this evidence is based on a limited number of studies.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:25

Mutant Bacteria That Keep On Growing

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WASHINGTON, DC – February 17, 2015 - The typical Escherichia coli, the laboratory rat of microbiology, is a tiny 1-2 thousandths of a millimeter long. Now, by blocking cell division, two researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have grown E. coli that stretch three quarters of a millimeter. That’s up to 750 times their normal length. The research has potential applications in nanoscale industry, and may lead to a better understanding of how pathogens work. The study is published ahead of print on February 17 in the Journal of Bacteriology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - February 13, 2015 - According to a multinational clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus vaccine, Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study’s entire follow-up, of up to four years. The research was published February 4 in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - January 20, 2015 - Researchers have tracked the genetic mutations that have occurred in the Ebola virus during the last four decades. Their findings, published inmBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, identified changes in the current West African outbreak strain that could potentially interfere with experimental, sequence-based therapeutics.

Thursday, 12 February 2015 14:34

Cold plasma treatment cuts norovirus germs

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Washington, DC - January 13, 2015 - Treating surfaces with cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) may reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus, a contagious virus leading to stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, according to a new study.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 11, 2015 -- With minor tinkering, a peptide—a tiny protein—from the skin of a frog could be fashioned into a novel antibiotic that would lack the toxic byproducts of some more conventional drugs. More importantly, such peptides would represent a new class of antibiotics, at a time when new classes are sorely needed as resistance rises among existing classes. The research was published online, 26 January 2015, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - February 10, 2015 - An experimental medication that targets a protein in Ebola virus called VP24 protected 75% of a group of monkeys that were studied from Ebola virus infection, according to new research conducted by the U.S. Army, in collaboration with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. The study was published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology

Washington, DC – February 3, 2015 – Environmental factors like mode of delivery and duration of gestation may affect how infants’ gut bacteria mature, and that rate could help predict later body fat, international researchers from the EpiGen consortium have found in collaboration with scientists at Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland. The work is published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 

Washington, DC - January 20, 2015 - A new biologic drug prevented death when administered to mice a week in advance of lethal challenge with influenza H7N9, a disease that has shown a  roughly 30 percent mortality rate in humans. The biologic had previously proven protective in mice against the pandemic 2009 H1N1 and the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. “This suggests that our approach could work for any strain of the influenza virus,” says corresponding author Elena Govorkova, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. The research is published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

WASHINGTON, DC – June 10, 2014 - Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people.  Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research published in published today in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Contact: Garth Hogan
ghogan@asmusa.org 

Eighty-Seven Scientists Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology

Washington, DC—
March 29, 2013—Eighty-seven microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.  Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are over 2,000 Fellows representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service. The new Fellows are as follows:

-Salim S. Abdool Karim, MBChB, Ph.D., Center for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, Durban

-Munirul Alam, Ph.D., International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (Dhaka)

-Karen Arndt, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, PA

-Monsef Benkirane, Ph.D., Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS, Montpellier, France

-Jeffrey M. Bergelson, M.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania

-Marshall E. Bloom, M.D., Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID/NIH, Hamilton, MT

-Elizaveta Bonch -Osmolovskaya, Ph.D., Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology RAS, Moscow, Russia

-Carlos Bustamante, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

-Michael Caparon, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

-Louise T. Chow, Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham

-Jon Clardy, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

-Myron S. Cohen, M.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

-Richard Condit, Ph.D., University of Florida, Gainesville

-Tyrrell Conway, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, Norman

-Peggy A. Cotter, Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

-Blossom Damania, Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

-Joseph DeRisi, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco

-Tamara Lea Doering, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

-Valerian V. Dolja, Ph.D., Oregon State University, Corvallis

-Maria Gloria Domínguez-Bello, Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

-Xinnian Dong, Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, NC

-Harold L. Drake, Ph.D., University of Bayreuth, Germany

-Nicole Dubilier, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany

-Stanislav Dusko Ehrlich, Ph.D., MetaGenoPoliS, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, France

-Michael Ehrmann, Ph.D., University Duisburg-Essen, Germany

-Paul T. Englund, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

-Michael Follows, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

-Georg Fuchs, Ph.D., University of Freiburg, Germany

-Takema Fukatsu, Ph.D., National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Japan

-Shou-Jiang Gao, Ph.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles

-Mariano A. Garcia Blanco, M.D./Ph.D., Duke University and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore

-Partho Ghosh, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

-Ursula Goodenough, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, MO

-Michael W. Gray, Ph.D., Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

-Maria J. Harrison, Ph.D., Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY

-Steven M. Holland, M.D., Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD

-James T. Hollibaugh, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens

-Terence Hwa, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

-Michael Ibba, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, Columbus

-Janet Jansson, Ph.D., Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

-Vijay Juneja, Ph.D., USDA-ARS-Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, PA

-Kami Kim, M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

-Dennis Marc Klinman, M.D., Ph.D., NCI, Frederick, MD

-H. Clifford Lane, M.D., NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD

-Richard E. Lloyd, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 

-Jennifer Jane Loros, Ph.D., The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH

-David A. Low, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

-Erich R. Mackow, Ph.D., Stony Brook University, NY

-Robert E. Mandrell, Ph.D, USDA, Albany, CA

-Robert L. Modlin, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles

-Søren Molin, Ph.D., The Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby

-Guido C. Mora, Ph.D., Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile

-Philip Murphy, M.D., NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD

-Xavier Nassif, M.D., Ph.D., Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Médecine, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France

-Scott O'Neill, Ph.D., Monash University, Clayton, Australia

-R. John Parkes, Ph.D., Cardiff University, United Kingdom

-Matthew R. Parsek, Ph.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle

-Edward J. Pearce, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO

-Eric M. Phizicky, Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY

-Roger J. Pomerantz, M.D., F.A.C.P., Merck & Co., North Wales, PA

-Jacques Ravel, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine, Institute for Genome Sciences, Baltimore

-Forest Rohwer, Ph.D., San Diego State University, CA

-Susan M. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 

-Mirja S. Salkinoja-Salonen, Ph.D., University of Helsinki, Finland

-George P.C. Salmond, ScD., University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

-Stewart Shuman, M.D., Ph.D., Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, MSKCC, New York, NY

-Vanessa Sperandio, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

-Alfred Spormann, Ph.D., Stanford University, CA

-Raymond J. St. Leger, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park

-Michael Starnbach, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

-Gregory Stephanopoulos, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

-Surachai Supattapone, M.D., Ph.D., D.Phil., The Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH

-Kenneth S. Thomson, Ph.D., Creighton University, Omaha, NE

-Paula Traktman, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

-B. Gillian Turgeon, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

-Rodney Kim Tweten, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City

-Alex van Belkum, Ph.D., Ph.D., bioMerieux, S.A., La Balme les Grottes, France

-Jörg Vogel, Dr. rer. nat., University of Würzburg, Germany

-Michael Wagner, Ph.D., University of Vienna, Austria

-Mark J. Walker, Ph.D., Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, St. Lucia

-Alison Weiss, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, OH

-Sean P. J. Whelan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

-Bryan Raymond George Williams, Ph.D., Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Australia
-George B. Witman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester

-Gerard D. Wright, Ph.D., McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

-Jiunn-Jong Wu, Ph.D., College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

-Mark Young, Ph.D., Montana State University, Bozeman

For information about election to the Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, please visit: http://academy.asm.org/index.php/fellows-info.

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The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group of the American Society for Microbiology. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientific excellence, as well as foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences.  More information on the Academy can be found online at http://academy.asm.org.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals.  ASM’s mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.asm.org.

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