Public Release: 

Media advisory: ASM Beneficial Microbes Conference -- April 2005

American Society for Microbiology

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will host a scientific conference, "Beneficial Microbes," April 17-21, 2005 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Incline Village in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Humans and other animals provide a home to thousands of microbial species, yet very little is understood about their relationship with each other and the host. Most of these microbes are beneficial, providing necessary nutrients for the host or protection against harmful pathogens. The microbial participants, their interactions, and mechanisms that contribute to satisfying host nutritional and protective needs are largely unknown. This ASM conference will delve into the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the fascinating "healthy" relationships existing between microbes and animals.

Sessions will highlight new findings on such topics as: microbial diversity in animals, evolutionary aspects of host-microbe interactions, communication between the host and its microbes, functions of the resident microbiota in host development and survival, host immune responses to resident microbes, model systems to study microbial symbiosis with animals, and practical applications of this information in the development of probiotics and microbial therapies. The conference will bring together leaders in microbiology and immunology studying microbial symbiosis in both vertebrates and invertebrates. The conference is expected to give attendees a broad, new perspective on normal microbiota and their role in a healthy host.

Preliminary program and hotel information are currently available online at http://www.asm.org/Meetings/index.asp?bid=27608. Media registration is complimentary. Journalists wishing to register can do so by contacting Carrie Patterson, ASM Office of Communications, at cpatterson@asmusa.org or by phone at (202) 942-9389.

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The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 42,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to promote research and research training in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve health, the environment, and economic well-being.

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