Microbiology meeting focuses on myriad of topics

The role of evolution in science education, how bacteria can help solve the energy crisis, the long-term health effects of Hurricane Katrina, and how microbes communicate and coordinate with each other to build complex communities are just some of the many topics to be covered at the 106th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology to be held May 21-25, 2006 in Orlando, Florida.

"Microbes are the dominant form of life on earth and therefore have a major impact on human societies and health," says Program Chair Ferric Fang of the University of Washington, Seattle. "It is critical for us to understand the microbial world, not only for the obvious medical reasons, but because all other life is dependent on microbes."

The five-day meeting will feature an eclectic mix of colloquia, symposia and poster sessions focusing on all aspects of microbiology and how it affects our lives. Approximately 3,000 individual presentations will be given during the course of the meeting and 10,000 people are expected to attend.

Of special note: The opening session of the 106th General Meeting, entitled "We're Not in Kansas Anymore, will be held the evening of Sunday, May 21 will focus on the ongoing controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution in the classroom. The session will also feature Bruce Alberts, Past-President of the National Academy of Sciences and his proposal for a new approach to science education.

More detailed information, including programs and abstract, will be available in early May. Preliminary programs and press registration materials are currently available and can be obtained by calling the ASM Office of Communications or online at http://www.asm.org/Media/index.asp?bid=40352. Additional press materials can be found at this site as they become available. PLEASE NOTE: The housing deadline is April 26, 2006. While media will be allowed to register for the meeting after that date, they will be responsible for arranging hotel accommodations on their own.

Comprehensive media facilities will be available and meeting registration is complimentary for the media.

The ASM General Meeting Press Center will be located in the Orange County Convention Center and will be open starting at 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 21. Programs, abstracts, news releases and information about daily press conferences will be available. All media representatives must be registered to attend sessions. Please note that videotaping in session rooms is not allowed.

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The ASM, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest single biological membership organization with approximately 44,000 members worldwide. Members work in different organizations, including education (research institutions, undergraduate and graduate institutions, and medical dental and veterinary schools), industry (pharmaceutical, food and agriculture, biotechnology, environmental, and pollution control companies and hospitals), and federal and state governments (research laboratories and public health).


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