Newer Research in Biofilm Sciences

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    Harrison
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      The following was sent to me by a biofilm “hobbyist” and patient advocate. See the summary of the workshop, it’s an excellent overview of biofilms. Thanks Walter.
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      A new IOM Summary Report on a March 6-7 2012 Workshop about Biofilms and other cooperating multi-species microbial communities was released yesterday. Free downloads from IOM and the National Academies Press (NAP): Presentations and Resources:
      The Social Biology of Microbial Communities – Institute of Medicine

      Free PDF of complete 633 page Workshop Summary:
      The Social Biology of Microbial Communities: Workshop Summary Lots of nice pictures. Tons of examples and details.

      The Social Biology of Microbial Communities – Workshop Summary

      Released: December 10, 2012
      Type: Workshop Summary
      Topics: Diseases, Global Health, Public Health
      Activity: Forum on Microbial Threats
      Board: Board on Global Health

      —competing, cooperating, and forming associations with one another and with their living and nonliving host environments. Indeed, microbial communities are intricately intertwined with the biology of all ecosystems on Earth—from the extreme environments of the human gut to deep sea hydrothermal vents and the windswept plains of Antarctica. Despite these observations, very little is actually known about the factors and processes that influence community assembly, stability, and function.
      from the current “pure” culture approach to one that embraces community diversity and complexity, the forces that shape these community associations, and the nature of their interactions with other organisms and neighboring communities, including their multicellular hosts.

      The IOM’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on March 6 and 7, 2012 that explored Workshop presentations and discussions embraced a wide spectrum of topics, experimental systems, and theoretical perspectives representing the current, multidimensional examination of this new frontier. Meeting participants discussed the ecological, evolutionary, and genetic factors contributing to the assembly, function, and stability of microbial communities; how microbial communities adapt and respond to environmental stimuli; theoretical and experimental approaches to advance this embryonic field; and potential applications of knowledge gained from the study of microbial communities for the improvement of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health and toward a deeper understanding of microbial diversity and evolution. This document summarizes the workshop.

      Description:

      This perception stemmed from the focus of most investigators on organisms that could be grown in the laboratory as cellular monocultures, often dispersed in liquid, and under ambient conditions of temperature, lighting, and humidity. Most such inquiries were designed to identify microbial pathogens by satisfying Koch’s postulates. This pathogen-centric approach to the study of microorganisms produced a metaphorical “war” against these microbial invaders waged with antibiotic therapies, while simultaneously obscuring the dynamic relationships that exist among and between host organisms and their associated microorganisms—only a tiny fraction of which act as pathogens.

      Gaining this knowledge will require a seismic shift away from the study of individual microbes in isolation to inquiries into the nature of diverse and often complex microbial communities, the forces that shape them, and their relationships with other communities and organisms, including their multicellular hosts.

      Workshop presentations and discussions embraced a wide spectrum of topics, experimental systems, and theoretical perspectives representative of the current, multifaceted exploration of the microbial frontier. Participants discussed ecological, evolutionary, and genetic factors contributing to the assembly, function, and stability of microbial communities; how microbial communities adapt and respond to environmental stimuli; theoretical and experimental approaches to advance this nascent field; and potential applications of knowledge gained from the study of microbial communities for the improvement of human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health and toward a deeper understanding of microbial diversity and evolution.
      Note: Workshop Summaries contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the IOM. Learn more about the differences between Workshop Summaries and Consensus Reports.

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