Postdoctoral Research Associate
ASM had organized lots of interesting presentations and the size of the venue was such that it took more than 15 minutes to walk from one side to the other side of the conference. Due to the time overlap of presentations and posters and the huge size of the venue, I was only able to attend a certain number of oral presentations. One of the best parts of the ASM conference was that I was able to see the trend of current research. To me, working on the human microbiome study, it was quite impressive because the number of talks and posters on human microbiome was significantly increased compared with my previous ASM meeting in San Francisco 2 years back. The microbiome studies was not limited to understanding microbial communities by 16S rRNA gene sequencing any more, but expanded their scope at the functional level with more mechanistical and practical approaches. One interesting session, for example, was on fecal microbiota transplantation. The talks were about successful trials on Clostridium difficile infection and regulatory issues to handle, and I could foresee that there will be case studies with this on different human diseases in the near future.
The Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology had a good representation. Sudeep Popat gave a nice talk, as always, with the title “Unraveling the optimization of energy metabolism in members of Geobacteraceae during extracellular respiration”. Bradley Lusk, Joseph Miceli, and I contributed to join about 3,000 poster presentation in total. Brad’s poster was on his recent research on thermophilic anode respiring bacteria, Thermincola ferriacetica, and he also represented Qaiser Khan’s poster. Joe's poster was a good example of his work on the efficiency of MXCs under high substrate loading. We also had a nice gathering with Jon Badalamenti, an alumnus and now a post-doc at University of Minnesota. I enjoyed his poster about his pangeome research on Geobacter and Geoalkalibacter.
In the end, I have to confess that I ate Lobster rolls every time I had a chance. As Diane recommended, I also highly recommend it when in the New England area. It was fresh with a reasonable price!
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Video: The potential role of gut microbes in autism