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Society for General Microbiology Conference ’12: #sgmdub

March 29, 2012
  1. This is the first time I’ve ever used Storify so fingers crossed…
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    2 girls, 5 days, 1 piece of checked luggage weighing no more than 15kg… this could be a challenge! #sgmdub
  3. We got into Dublin Sunday night, registered and then went off wandering around the city 🙂
    The next morning the first session I attended was the biocontrol of diseases…
  4. First up was: 
    Novel engineering of attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi strains for use as live vectors
    Jim Galen (University of Maryland)
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    Using salmonella as live vector for vaccination #sgmdub
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    Use non-antibiotic selection method to avoid antibiotic resistance genes in vaccine vector strains. #sgmdub
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    Live vectors can be used to export antigens. More attenuation means less immune response #sgmdub
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    Likely tht delivery of mutiple ags using single plasmid-bearing live vector vaccine will require chromosomal expression of =/>1 ag #sgmdub
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    “Attenuated s typhi live vectors represent flexible platform for expression of foreign ags” #sgmdub
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    V interesting talk by J Galen #sgmdub
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    Genome Atlas – allows you to see secondary structure of your chromosome. #sgmdub
  12. Next up… 
    Vaccination against Clostridium difficile infection
    Simon Cutting (Royal Holloway, University of London)
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    Use of bacterial spores as vaccine. Many advantages… #sgmdub
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    Cheap, long-lasting, survive well, possibility for oral delivery, heat stable #sgmdub
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    Spores also serve as adjuvant and can (?)Adsorb antigens eg viruses. #sgmdub
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    C diff infection – 30% of patients develop relapse #sgmdub
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    using c diff spores to protect against c diff infection. V interesting talk. #sgmdub
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    Oral dosing is better. ?mucosal immunity most important? #sgmdub
  19. The SGM Prize Medal Lecture this year was given by Julian Davies (University of British Columbia)  
    “Molecules, microbes and me” 
    It was a brilliant talk from clearly a brilliant man!

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    “Molecules microbes and me” by Julian Davies about to start #sgmdub
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    Most expensive hyrolytic reaction in history: betalactamase action. #sgmdub prize lecture
  22. *hydrolytic! 
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    #sgmdub cool. In nature, antibiotics may not actually be ANTIbiotics.
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    Environmental role of antibs poorly understood V interesting – I’d assumed we knew… #sgmdub
  25. I thought that we knew antibiotics were soil microbes way of protecting themselves from other bugs – apparently we don’t actually know that…
  26. After lunch I ran between the Food Borne Pathogens session and the New Media session.  Sadly I couldn’t be in both places at the same time so I’m sure I missed some great talks but here is what I went to…
  27. Interaction of Salmonella enterica and E. coli pathotypes with edible fruit and vegetables
    Gad Frankel (Imperial College London)
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    #sgmdub shift of salmonella transmission: used to be mostly poultry, now vegetables playing larger role
  29. Social media for researchers – maximizing your personal impact
    Alan Cann (University of Leicester)
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    “Having online profile no longer an issue of vanity”alan cann #sgmdub
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    Build up network of trusted individuals says A Cann in New Media session #sgmdub
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    Don’t have time for social media? If you care bout your career you don’t have time not to do it says A cann in New Media session #sgmdub
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    Definitely identify with “ploughing lonely furrow” in social media with my dept! #sgmdub
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    Back to importance of choosing who is in your network. New Media session at #sgmdub
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    “Process of curation never stops”. A Cann. #sgmdub
  36. Scientists and social media
    Alice Bell (Imperial College London)
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    Audioboo – like twitter but with sounds according to @alicebell. Anyone know if blackberries can get it as well as iphone? #sgmdub
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    Blogging allows parents w/children who can’t go 2conference 2potentially have sane networking opportunity #sgmdub #womeninscience
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    Obviously my last tweet shd have read “same networking” rather than “sane”! #womeninscience #sgmdub. May still b applicable!
  40. To be honest I had never really thought of that point before but obviously being a parent will to some extent limit your conference attendance.  I’m hoping that my tweeting from the conference might be interesting to some of those that couldn’t make it this year.
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    .@alicebell talk reminding me why I blog – I learn lots and it’s fun. Also great when authors of papers I talk about get in touch #sgmdub
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    Excellent talk by @alicebell on scientists and social media #sgmdub
  43. Food from the fire: how the host response feeds Salmonella
    Andreas Baumler (University of California, Davis)
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    Hydrogen sulhpide makes food “smell interesting”! Lovely understatement! #sgmdub
  45. Every defeat is a small victory: the what, when, where and how of setting up a microbiology blog
    Benjamin Thompson (Wellcome Trust, London)
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    The who what how and why of setting up a micro blog – what shd I have done? Now at #sgmdub
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    Make sure ur blog name will come up early on google! #sgmdub
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    Scaleabiity is important. Need to balance the rest of ur life and ur blog. #sgmdub
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    “Flickr search creative commons = your friend” #sgmdub
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    Editing important. Remember short paragraphs for internet posts. #sgmdub
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    Get someone to read ur work before u post it. #sgmdub
  52. All of the New Media talks I went to were fantastic.  Sadly I couldn’t make the Twitter Journal Club talk so I don’t know what came out of it – maybe some microbiologist will be setting up a micro twitter journal club soon…
  53. The Peter Wildy Prize for Microbiology Education went to 
    Vincent Racaniello who gave an excellent talk titled
    “Educating the world about microbes”

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    V excited about “educating the world about microbes” with Vincent Racaniello #sgmdub
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    Blogs give ppl access to scientists – Vincent Racaniello’s talk #sgmdub
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    Before my phone battery dies… Fascinating talk by Vincent Racaniello and great day at #sgmdub looking forward to tomorrow!
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    Possible to do both research and outreach/education effectively #sgmdub
  58. Food Borne Pathogens again today – not all lectures are covered as some went a little over my head! (There are times when not having done a Microbiology based undergrad degree is a bit of a hindrance!)
  59. The Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecture was given by 
    Yuan Chang & Patrick Moore (University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) 
    “Old themes and new variations in human tumor virology”
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    Settling down for Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecture being given by Yuan Chang & Patrick Moore #sgmdub
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    #sgmdub infections responsible for ~20% of human cancer
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    #sgmdub why do some viruses cause cancer when their near relatives don’t? We don’t fully know yet…
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    Viral tumours are biological accidents #sgmdub
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    #sgmdub kshv innate immune evasion genes = also oncogenic
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    #sgmdub “tumour suppression and innate immunity: 2 sides of same coin?”
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    #sgmdub mcv almost ubiquitous so why does it only sometimes cause cancers?
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    Mcv is replication deficient in mcc #sgmdub
  68. Viral oncology is really not my area but the talk was aimed at a low enough level that even I could keep up – was fascinating 
  69. Intensive broiler chicken production systems and the infection biology of Campylobacter
    Tom Humphrey (University of Liverpool)
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    #sgmdub campylobacter is defined as ‘commensal’ in chickens but can cause dz in the birds…
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    #sgmdub campylobacter a poorly controlled chicken commensal? Chicken mounts marked response to campy but little to lactobacillus commensal
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    #sgmdub antibody response confines bug to chicken gut
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    #sgmdub problem with surface contamination- cross contamination. Bigger problem is internal contamination – liver pate outbreaks etc
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    #sgmdub can get transient campylobacter bacteraemia in chickens
  75. Effects of co-culture on Campylobacter
    Friederike Hilbert (University of Vienna)
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    Campylobacter almost never alone in its natural life cycle #sgmdub
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    Campy survives longer in oxygen if cocultured with pseudomonas #sgmdub
  78. Try not to breathe: the role of oxygen in the Campylobacter lifestyle
    Arnoud van Vliet (Institute of Food Research, Norwich)
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    Bact. response2stress: parasitism, symbiosis, commensal, sporulation/biofilm, death Gd analogy2managment conflict resolution scheme #sgmdub
  80. Offered paper Campylobacter enteritis; emerging dynamics of human infection
    Susan Bullman (Cork Institute of Technology)
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    Campylobacter ureolyticus – an emerging gi pathogen? #sgmdub
  82. Offered paper Bacterial rejuvenation: lag phase is a distinct growth phase that prepares bacteria for exponential growth and involves transient metal accumulation
    Matthew Rolfe (University of Sheffield & Institute of Food Research, Norwich)
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    #sgmdub v interesting talk by Matthew Rolfe on bacterial lag phase of growth.
  84. There was a  Hot Topic Lecture given by 
    Richard Elliott 
    “Schmallenberg virus: fact from fiction”

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    Looking forward to “Schmallenberg virus: fact from fiction” with Richard Elliott #sgmdub
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    #sgmdub orthobunyavirus genus – >170 named viruses – now includes schmallenberg
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    “It is unlikely that this virus can cause dz in humans but it cannot be completely excluded at this stage” #sgmdub
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    #schmallenberg #sgmdub been detected in france, germany, uk, italy, spain, jersey
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    #schmallenberg #sgmdub adult animals show little to no dz but congenital abnormalities in offspring. Healthy newborns not viraemic
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    #sgmdub #schmallenberg by december ’11 getting congenital defects in lambs and calves positive for sbv
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    #sgmdub #schmallenberg is not a notifiable dz. Are we missing cases?
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    #sgmdub likely that sbv was in midges blown across channel
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    #sgmdub I can’t help but think is pretty impressive that from 1st known cases2virus isolation2now ppl have managed2learn so much bout virus
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    #sgmdub need to look in midge head to find evidence cd transmit to animal.virus cd b in gut purely because fed on infected animal recently
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    #sgmdub with akabane (related virus) get waves of immunity in livestock
  96. It was an absolutely fantastic lecture bringing us all up to date on the latest on the virus
  97. Campylobacter jejuniexploits host cell processes 
    Michael Konkel (Washington State University)
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    #sgmdub seeing increase in c jejuni isolates resistant to antib’s
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    #sgmdub c jejuni binds to fibronectin – 37kDa OMP exhibits fn-binding activity
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    #sgmdub anti-flaA chick maternal antibodies can inhibit motility. Can we use maternal antibodies to show poss vaccine targets?
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    V interesting talk by M Konkel – looks like promising approach to vaccine development #sgmdub
  102. At this point I nipped across to the phylogeography session…
    Global spread of multidrug resistant Salmonella Typhi
    Kathryn Holt (University of Melbourne) 
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    #sgmdub v interesting to see how different drug regimes may have affected resistance profile of S typhi
  104. Clonal evolution and spread of a transmissible cancer lineage in Tasmanian devils 
    Elizabeth Murchison (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge)
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    #sgmdub shd we consider transmissible cancers to be microbes?
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    #sgmdub horizontal transmission of living cancer cells – wow
  107. This was one of my favourite talks of the whole conference – very clearly explained and an interesting topic.
  108. Fleming Prize Lecture
    Plagues and populations – patterns of pathogen evolution 
    Bill Hanage (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts)
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    #sgmdub Plagues and Populations: patterns of pathogen evolution with Bill Hanage
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    #sgmdub 3 E coli isolates (therefore supposedly same species) – only 39% genes present in all 3 strains (Weich et al 2002)
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    #sgmdub Are bacteria bags of genes brought together for transient benefit? Interesting question
  112. The lecture was brilliant (and I think someone compared Bill Hanage to House!)
  113. Offered paper Out of the environment and into the host; mapping the path to pathogenicity across the genus Yersinia
    Thomas Connor (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge)
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    #sgmdub if we only consider pathogenic Yersinia we are missing most of diversity in the genus
  115. Offered paper Assessing Bartonella henselae diversity using whole-genome sequencing and single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis
    Gemma Chaloner (University of Liverpool)
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    Bartonella henselae – a few uncommon STs responsible for most human infections (vets beware!) #sgmdub #zoonosis
  117. Offered paper Assessing the diversity of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 using phenotypic and genotypic data
    Alison Mather (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge)
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    V interesting talk on antimicrobial resistance by Alison Mather #sgmdub #zoonosis
  119. Offered paper The transcriptional architecture of Salmonella Typhimurium SL1344
    Jay Hinton (Trinity College Dublin)
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    V clear description of RNAseq results from Jay Hinton. #sgmdub
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  122. Offered paper Non-O157 verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) on bovine farms
    Declan Bolton (Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown)
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    Non-O157 STEC/VTEC – shdnt forget this grp of E coli #sgmdub #zoonosis
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    Only 1 more #sgmdub event left for me 😦 But it is “Stopping the Spread of Superbugs” which I’m really looking forward to 🙂
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    Fab description of how and why infection with MRSA in diff places causes diff symptoms #sgmdub
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    Dogs, cats, pigs all been found with MRSA – another gd reason to wash ur hands after playing with ur pet. #sgmdub #zoonosis
  127. I loved this session – I thought it was a great way to approach public engagement.  It didn’t feel like microbiologists were just telling stuff to the audience – (IMO anyway) it felt like the audience’s opinions were valued.
  128. Overall the conference was a brilliant experience (and I really need to get a thesaurus – sorry!) I met many friendly people and learnt a lot.  Thanks to the poster presenters, the speakers, the exhibitors, the CCD staff and everyone at the SGM who organised the event – you did a stunning job 🙂

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