Mike Manefield

Amazing turn out for JAMS last night at the Australian Museum. Three excellent presentations from Nathan Lo (Blattabacterium genome evolution - USyd), Tom Jeffries (Sydney Harbour Microbiome - UTS) and Yit Heng Chooi (Fungal metabolite genetics and biochemistry - ANU). The audience was also on the money with probing questions reassuring the speakers that their labours are well appreciated by an elite body of microbiology professionals.

The idea of a two day microbial community analysis workshop was also re-introduced and planning for this has commenced. A call is also out for volunteers for the Australian Museum Sciecne Festival (10th August, 13th-15th August and 20th-22nd August).

Please email Mike Manefield if you're interested. As of the 1st of August, we still need around 10 more volunteers.

The Australian Museum Science Festival is fast approaching and JAMS Inc is registered to occupy an exhibition booth to introduce thousands of school children to the wonders of microbiology.

Michael Kertesz (USyd) has again agreed to be the scientific content manager of the exhibition but we're still in need of a human resources manager to schedule and advise volunteers for the exhibition. Email Mike Manefield if you're interested in the HR gig or if you're interested in volunteering.

Continue reading for the festival schedule.

Tom Jeffries
January JAMS got the new year off to a good start with a solid turnout and some stimulating talks. First up was Olivier Laczka who took us in to the technical realm of biosensors. Olivier’s work has focused on developing cost-effective tools for the rapid identification of micro-organisms relevant to industry and has led to several Patents.

Ani Penesyan
On the last Wednesday of spring we were spoiled with the room on the top floor of the Australian Museum and magnificent views of Sydney, yes, once again! Joining us were not only our regular JAMS crowd, but also visitors from Europe (yes, that is really cold in Europe during this time of the year!)

Event Date: 
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 14:00 - 21:00

It's that time of the year again and I'm not talking about Santa Claus. It's time for our second anniversary JAMS Presentation and Banquet. This year has been full of milestones including a microbiology display at the Australian Museum for grade school students and a trip to the Hawkesbury RIver to visit the new campus of the University of Western Sydney. JAMS also has some exciting news -- we will be incorporating next year which will make us bigger, better and official.
February 27th 2013 marks the second Annual JAMS Dinner at the Australian Museum with an expanded schedule, some great speakers from around the world and a poster session for PhD students. The Skeleton Gallery and over 100 skeletons -- including the horseman and the movable bicycle-riding man will play host to the banquet.
As an incentive for students to present their work, the best poster will be awarded with the Jeff Powell Perpetual Student Award.
The rest of the meeting is detailed below.

Maria-Luisa Gutierrez-Zamora

The JAMS rendezvous this October 31st took place in the fourth floor of the Museum with a magnificent view of Sydney, and began with an ad hoc presentation featuring sulphurous scents and sexy fangs. Katherina Petrou (UTS) initiated us in the science of the sulphur cycle in the oceans and how this process is dominated by the production of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) by microalgae and its decomposition into dimethylsulphide (DMS), a strong odorous chemoattractant for a range of marine organisms. In tackling the mystery of how harmful algal blooms disappear, Katherina discovered that DMS produced by the dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum (causative agent of toxic algal blooms) was the chemical cue for the infection of its parasitoid Parvilucifera sinerae.  An elegant video illustrated how DMS at 300 nM was able to activate the parasitoid spores from a dormant state to leave the sporangium (an infected A. minutum cell) in transit to infect other cells and propagate. Activation only occurred in the range of 30 to 300 nM indicating that the effect was dependent on cell density. Thus, Katherina’s work showed that DMS plays an important role in the biological control of toxic algal blooms in the oceans. Her results contribute to the better understanding of marine chemical ecology.

Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Unit
Cnr Maze Cr and Blackwattle Creek Rd
University of Sydney Darlington Campus
Chippendale NSW 2008
Prof. Mark Adams to open the new Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Facility at University of Sydney

It is with great pleasure that I write to invite you to join us for the official launch of the new Marsh Lawson Mushroom Research Unit on Tuesday, 30th October 2012.  
This brand new international-class research facility, one of only a handful of such entities in the world, undertakes projects with university academics, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical producers, and conducts independent trials for suppliers to the mushroom industry. It offers a new focus for a broad spectrum of experimental work in the areas of human nutrition, biological science, medicine and agriculture. 


In September, JAMS was back into top gear, with a bigger audience, and a room with a view. Kent Lim from Macquarie University led off with a talk on his PhD work on the biocontrol agent Pseudomonas strain Pf5. As is often the case in science, things didn’t work out as expected, and Kent found that knocking out suspected pyochelin transporters led to an increase rather than a decrease in efflux of this siderophore and its metabolic precursors. Kent valiantly soldiered on, applying qRT-PCR and Biolog phenotype microarrays to untangle the problem, but unfortunately, this released even more worms from the seemingly-bottomless can provided by strain Pf5. It seems that these transporters may in fact also be regulatory proteins, explaining the unexpected pleiotropic effects of the knockouts.

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