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What's new in European microbiology? Highlights from FEMS Congress 2015

Publish date: 2015-06-18

6th Congress of Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) took place 7th to 11th of July in Maastricht, Netherlands. Just as the previous meeting, the conference gathered over 2 thousands of participants from all over the world. The wide subject range allowed everyone find something suitable to their interests.

Tags: conference , microbiology , FEMS , CRISPR

The biennial FEMS Congress– next to general meetings of American Society for Microbiology (ASM) - is the greatest event gathering microbiologists in this part of the world. This year, the meeting took place in MECC forum in the cradle of a modern Europe – the beautiful Maastricht.

This time, organizers bet on environment friendly modern solutions, providing an electronic e-program, next to a paper version, as well as mobile app including detailed conference program together with presentations and posters abstracts. For those who like to feel the paper in a traditional way and make notes next to chosen positions, electronic tools could had been unsatisfactory.


Scientific part of the conference has began with the two plenary lectures: humorous and intriguing one given by Prof. J.M. Claverie about “Giant viruses” – isolated from the ocean mimivirus and pandoravirus of an obscure evolutionary origin, and the second interesting lecture given by Prof. J.K. Jansson about “Human microbiome” describing the effect of our gut microflora in health and disease.

FEMS congresses most of all mean the diversity of subjects covering issues from environmental microbiology, through clinical and food microbiology, to molecular biology and virology. Each day participants had the opportunity to listen to one of the eight parallel sessions. Among them was the place for biofilm issues, this time especially focused on multi-species biofilms. This year a special attention was paid to CRISPR system, unraveling the mechanisms as well as its capabilities in molecular engineering. Very popular session was the quorum sensing, began with symposium given by Prof. Paul Williams from the University of Nottingham. There were also the place for “white biotechnology” issues concerning bioinformatic tools, and also subjects including capabilities of new generation sequencing techniques. These are only few of presented news, among which were also research on persister cells, drug resistance and horizontal gene transfer issues, as well as host-pathogen interactions in animals and plants. Among described pathogens, also in the context of new potential therapies, presented research was focused mainly on Gram-negative bacteria, especially Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Among prezented subjects one could had notice a trend towards the research of human microflora, which was supproted both by plenary lecture choice and a sepatare session dedicated to this field. Another blooming area is also analysis of non-coding RNAs. This and previously highlithed subjects will surely inspire future generation of grant applicants.

The organizers had also took the opportunity to invite for the next 7th FEMS Congress, which will take place 9th to 13th July 2017 in Valencia, Spain.



Monika Kossakowska-Zwierucho



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