In this issue


Microbiology Australia Microbiology Australia
Issue 1

Vertical Transmission, March 2006

We are not far away from the first ASM Annual Scientific Meeting to be held in July as part of the new ASM meeting schedule. Ride the Wave: Microbiology with Innovation!

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From the Editors, March 2006

Hello from the new editorial team, Ian and Jo Macreadie. Ian is employed by CSIRO as a yeast molecular biologist and is a long-standing member of ASM. Jo?s experience has been in social work and, more recently, secretarial work.

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From culture collections to biological resource centres

As defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), biological resource centres (BRCs) are an essential part of the infrastructure underpinning life sciences and biotechnology. They consist of service providers and repositories of living cells, genomes of organisms, and information relating to heredity and the functions of biological systems. BRCs contain collections of culturable organisms (e.g. genomes, plasmids, viruses, cDNAs), information on viable but not yet cultured organisms, cells and tissues, as well as da...

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AMRIN: working together for Australian microbial resources

AMRIN, the Australian Microbial Resources Information Network, is an initiative of the Australian Microbial Resources Research Network (AMRRN) and was developed to aid microbiologists access information on microbial cultures and related expertise and research facilities in Australia.

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The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) and biological resource centres

The World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) is the largest independent global organisation representing professional individuals and culture collections which preserve and utilise biodiversity. Member collections target living microorganisms, cell lines, viruses and parts and derivatives of them. Key values are authenticity and genetic integrity of the material and validity of the information provided.

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WFCC-MIRCEN: world data centre for microorganisms

In the 1960s, microbiology and culture collection experts met several times to develop a strategic plan to foster microbial culture collections. They quickly recognised that statistics on the activities of culture collections worldwide were not available and that there was a need for a ?world directory of collections of cultures of microorganisms? that accumulated information on culture collections. It was obvious also that a world data centre for microorganisms was required to develop and maintain the directory.

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Global taxonomy initiative: Building capacity in taxonomy to underpin the conservation of biological diversity

The Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) is across cutting issue of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to address the lack of taxonomic information and expertise available in many parts of the world, and thereby to improve decision making in conservation, sustainable use and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from genetic resources.

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Biosecurity responsibilities of biological resource centres

Biological resource centres (BRCs), which house the world?s microbial culture collections, have emerging biosecurity responsibilities to prevent terrorists from acquiring dangerous pathogens that could be used to do harm. This presents a major challenge to the primary functions of BRCs, which are to supply biological materials for research, public health protection and economic development.

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Microbes in transit: international shipping requirements in brief

The worldwide exchange of microorganisms, including pathogens, is a matter of course. While the availability of these resources is essential for research, biomedical application, industry and education, adequate safeguards have to be observed so that biological material presents no hazard to people who may handle it during the transportation chain, to laboratory workers, animals or the environment.

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Information infrastructure for global biological networks

Any sort of global network of research facilities, in order to maintain a truly ?network? status, requires a mechanism for sharing information among the participating centres. The more immediate, transparent and effective the mechanism is, the more useful the research network is, not only to its participants but to the community at large.

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UNESCO?s perspective on biological resource centres

The initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish biological resources centres (BRCs) and eventually a Global Biological Resources Centres Network (GBRCN) is a welcome one at a time when loss of biodiversity is becoming a critical concern to scientists and many governments.

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The European initiatives MINE, CABRI, EBRCN and ENBI

Worldwide development of biotechnology results increasingly in the recognition of the importance of microbial culture collections and their holdings. In particular, it is recognised that the knowledge on these holdings accumulated in culture collections should be put more easily at the use of researchers. Far sighted scientists, under the leadership of the late VBD Skerman, had set up, already from the mid 1960s on, activities to catalogue culture collections and their holdings.

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Quality management and biological resource centres

The 2001 OECD report Biological resource centres: underpinning the future of life sciences and biotechnology resulted in the establishment of the Guidance for the operation of BRCs. This document still is in its final stage of discussions and has not yet been passed. Nevertheless, many traditional service culture collections already comply (or try to) with these guidelines in their daily work.

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NBRC, a national biological resource centre of Japan

As defined in the OECD report issued in 2001, biological resource centres (BRCs) are an essential part of the infrastructure underpinning life sciences and biotechnology. A wide variety of biological materials such as microbial cultures, biomass, DNA, etc are supplied by BRCs. The databases available from BRCs are not only for the sales of materials, but also for those containing scientific information catching up with other advanced bioinformatics. In addition to these scientific contents, BRCs are expected to operate in the management of inte...

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Connecting industry and the Bioresource Collection and Research Center (BCRC) in Taiwan

The Bioresource Collection and Research Center (BCRC) aims to connect with industry in Taiwan. Intellectual property and quality management systems are integrated to BCRC?s management accordingly.

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The three cornerstones for biological resource centres

Biological resource centres (BRCs) are an essential part of the infrastructure underpinning life sciences and biotechnology. The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) taskforce on BRCs (1999-2004), has put in a great effort of thought to define the new BRCs and forms the basis for the future development of the actual culture and reference collections. The effort, which has taken so many years and was, from the beginning, inspired by many WFCC members, has resulted in an important visionary document.

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The OECD initiative: towards a Global Biological Resource Centre Network (GBRCN)

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has played a central role in the development of the concept of biological resource centres (BRCs) since the outset. Why does an international governmental organisation that brings together 30 mostly highly industrialised countries and that is focused on globalisation and economic growth have an interest in such an area?

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In the News, March 2006

Retirement of Alan Hampson; The new IVD regulatory framework

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Preparing for the influenza pandemic: the government response

In February 2003, a small group of scientists and clinicians met in Sydney to map out how Australia could best respond if a case of smallpox occurred in Australia. The day was interrupted by a teleconference on the two deaths in Hong Kong of family members who had been in South China. One was confirmed to have avian influenza, H5N1, the same virus which had caused 18 cases and six deaths in Hong Kong in 1997.

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ASM Affairs, March 2006

New members; prizes and awards; ASM sustaining members; emerging microbiologists

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