Microbiology and the World Wide Web

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The purpose of this shorter article is not to survey the World Wide Web for sites of relevance to pharmaceutical microbiology and pharmaceuticals in general. For one reason such a task would now take several months in order to be truly comprehensive.
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    Editor’s Message 1Microbiology and the World Wide Web-Tim Sandle   2 Non-Destructive Characterization of aSteam System Biofilm by Microscopy-Mark Fornalik, Betsy Pitts, and Jill For-nalik      6Update    13Volume 15, Number 11 November, 2009 A P UBLICATION   OF   THE P HARMACEUTICAL M ICROBIOLOGY F ORUM   Distributed Internationally to 8,879 Subscribers over 100 Countries   PURPOSE : To provide a forum for discussion of microbiology issues in the pharmaceutical and related industry. The information contained in this newsletter includesthe professional opinions of individuals and does not represent the policies or operations of any corporation or government agency to which they may be associated.  PMF  Newsletter  is intended to serve as an open forum. The information in  PMF Newsletter  is solely for informational purposes and is developed from sources believed to bereliable. Statements expressed constitute current opinions derived through analysis of available information and professional networking. Articles or opinions are for infor-mation only to stimulate discussion and are not necessarily the views of the PMF board or regulatory agencies. The  PMF Newsletter  cannot make any representations as tothe accuracy or completeness of the information presented and the publisher cannot be held liable for errors. Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum(PMF) 2009 Editorial Board President/Editor-in-Chief: Scott Sutton, Ph.D., Vectech Pharmaceutical Con-sultants, Inc., USA Editorial Board:  Ziva Abraham, Microrite, Inc., USAPhil Geis, Proctor-Gamble, CTFA, USAKlaus Haberer, Ph.D., Ph. Eur., GermanyKaren McCullough, Roche Labs, LAL User’s Group,USAPaul Priscott, Ph.D., AMS Labs, AustraliaEric Strauss, Teva Pharmaceuticals, IsraelThe  PMF Newsletter  is published by the Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum. Copyright ©2010 by the Pharmaceutical MicrobiologyForum. All Rights Reserved. Send all inquiries, letters, and comments to scott.sutton@microbiol.org. Blogging and Biofilm Tim Sandle of BPL contributes an excellent overview of theresources available on the internet to microbiologists, and ishimself responsible for expanding those choices with thelaunch of his new blog through the Phar-mig group athttp://www.pharmig.blogspot.com/.This is a valuable effort at pro-viding some background to manyof the questions we all have aboutQC Pharma manufacturing. If you are looking for some informa-tion on the internet relating to QC micro- biology, or involved in training for the micro- biology group, Tim’s article is an excellent guide to valuableresources on the web.The second article this month is a different sort of approach to biofilm than what we commonly see in the Pharma literature.Mark Fornalik has published before in the newsletter on biofilmand is emerging as a national authority on the industrial controlof biofilm in manufacturing environments. For this article,Mark has assembled across-disciplinary teamthat includes both in-dustry and the interna-tional leaders in theacademic investigationof biofilm.It should also be mentioned that PMF has aBiofilm conference in the works that will feature advanced topics of concern in themanufacturing arena that will be led by Mr. Fornalik. I hopeto see you there!Scott Sutton, Ph.D. scott.sutton@microbiol.org   PMF NEWSLETTER Important Links :Information on the PMFList at http://www.microbiol.org/pmflist.htm   Past Issues of the PMF    Newsletter  at http://www.microbiologyforum.org/news.htm    Be sure to check out the upcomingPMF Conferences and Workshops    PMF Conference in March -Understanding Variability in the BET   Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum Newsletter – Vol. 15 (11)Page 2 of 13 Tim Sandletim.sandle@bpl.co.uk  Web-blog:www.pharmig.blogspot.com  Pharmaceutical microbiologists have gradually been exposed to the potential of the internet sincethe mid-1990s. Today the internet has expanded tothe extent that it forms a key part of our everydaylives and some talk of ‘Web 2.0’ (with reference tothe re-launch following the Dot Com crash andmore interactive, user focused sites which comeunder the umbrella term of ‘social networking’).The purpose of this shorter article is not to surveythe World Wide Web for sites of relevance to phar-maceutical microbiology and pharmaceuticals ingeneral. For one reason such a task would nowtake several months in order to be truly compre-hensive. The intention here is to:Highlight some selected sites which may be of interest;Discuss how the internet can be used to further  professional connections between mi-crobiologists (including a new blog  launched in December 2009). Where to start? One problem of entering the internet these days is,despite the vast range of web sites, there are thevery few indexes and directories. One of the mostcomprehensive is the open source directories. Opensource refers to compendia, encyclopaedias anddirectories which can either be freely edited or ed-ited by a ‘trusted’ band of volunteers. Probably themost popular example of this is Wikipedia. Thedisadvantage of such sites is that the informationmay be unreliable and may be overly biased withthe views of the author (or those with editing privi-leges).For the field of microbiology, one of the best star-ing points is:This is an open source initiative driven volunteer editorswhich surveys a vast range of different sites which aregrouped into different subject matter from education,through taxonomy, to funding sources. General Microbiology Another site which focuses on general microbiology is‘Microbes.info’. This is an internet web site to reducethe clutter of the thousands of microbiology related web pages and filter through the information in an organizedmanner. It can be found at: (Continued on page 3) Microbiology and the World Wide Web   http://dmoz.org/Science/Biology/Microbiology/http://www.microbes.info/  Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum Newsletter – Vol. 15 (11)Page 3 of 13 Pharmaceutical Microbiology There are only three locations which are truly essen-tial for pharmaceutical microbiology. The first is thePharmaceutical Microbiology Forum (PMF). Thekey resource of this site is the email discussion list.Although the quality of some of the postings is vari-able, many are essential, and the democratic princi- ples of the list are important enough to outweigh theodd email. There is also a complete archive of all postings dating back to 1998. The PMF list can besubscribed to via:The second area is related to the PMF list. This isthe Microbiology Network. This site is a communi-cation resource for microbiology and biotechnology professionals associated with the pharmaceutical,medical device and personal products industries.The third site is the Pharmaceutical MicrobiologyInterest Group (Pharmig), which is a UK and Ire-land based society. Pharmig is an essential site to visitfor meeting dates, back issues of the newsletter andsome papers exclusive to the members section. Commercial A less academic, more commercially orientated siteis Rapid Microbiology. This site lists companiesthat are operating in the area of pharmaceutical andmedical microbiology as well as listing meetingsand conferences. This site is at: (Continued from page 2) Medical Microbiology Medical microbiology websites are useful especiallyin gathering information about the srcins of a micro-organism. Unlike specific pharmaceutical microbi-ology sites there are a plethora of domains dedicatedto medical microbiology. One of the most useful isthe Fleming Forum which is a medical microbiologysite with a range of abstracts from papers and reviewupdates. This can be accessed at: Text books Several general microbiology text books offer sam- ple chapters and chapter reviews. There are a fewcomplete books on line. One of the most useful is (Continued on page 4) http://microbiol.org/www.pharmig.org.uk http://www.microbiol.org/lists/pmflist_subscribe.htmhttp://www.rapidmicrobiology.com/http://flemingforum.org.uk/http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/book/bact-sta.htm  Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum Newsletter – Vol. 15 (11)Page 4 of 13 run by the University of South Carolina. This can be found at: I n order to keep up with the latest book publica-tions, a useful staring place is: Microbial taxonomy Although microbiologists attempt to remain up-to-date with taxonomic changes that are of relevanceto pharmaceutical microbiology quality control(refer to the member only section of the website), afar more comprehensive, albeit unfiltered, list of changes is operated from France. This list of pro-karyotic names with standing in nomenclature islocated at: Regulatory This article does not set out to detail the generalregulatory sites on the internet. However, theFDA’s own ‘bad bug book’, although covering thefood and medical fields, is worthy of examinationfor background information about different micro-organisms as well as keeping abreast of what the so-called FDA objectionable micro-organisms are.Go to: Podcast Podcasting (audio streams, named after the Apple i-pod but playable on any MP3-player) is currentlyvogue. Unfortunately there is currently no specific pharmaceutical microbiology broadcast (which is probably a gap in the market). One very interesting‘stream’ is the 90 second ‘Microbe World’. This (Continued from page 3) can be subscribed to via I-Tunes or directly at: General Science The scientific world undergoes a rapid pace of change. One way to become quickly appraised of the major developments is by subscribing to the (Continued on page 5) http://www.biologybooks.net/Bacteriology.htmlhttp://www.bacterio.cict.fr/http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/intro.htmlhttp://www.microbeworld.org A podcast is a digital media file, or a series of such files, that isdistributed over the Internet using syndication feeds, for play- back on portable media players and personal computers. A pod-cast is a specific type of webcast which, like 'radio', can meaneither the content itself or the method by which it is syndicated;the latter is also termed podcasting. The most widespread for-mat for these files is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonlyreferred to as MP3 . http://pathmicro.med.sc.edu/book/bact-sta.htm  Pharmaceutical Microbiology Forum Newsletter – Vol. 15 (11)Page 5 of 13 weekly email digest from Science Week. To receivethe full text of Science Week each week by Emailthe word "CONTENTS" should be placed in to thesubject box and posted to:This review has been relatively brief. Nevertheless Ithink that some of these internet sites will be of in-terest to mist pharmaceutical microbiologists. Iwould be very interested to here your favourite sites.Please can you email me and, if there are enough, perhaps we can feature these as a regular spot inforthcoming newsletters. Blogging and social networking In addition to web-sites, social networking providesa means for microbiologists to communicate witheach other and to share ideas. The most commonlyknown are MySpace and Facebook  . Although theseallow users to set up pages for special topics, theethos of the sites tends towards the more ‘social’side of networking. Other sites, such as LinkedIn ,are more orientated towards professional and aca-demic interests.An arguably more effective way to connect withother microbiologists, to post longer articles and toencourage debate is through a blog . A ‘blog’ is acontraction of term ‘web-log’. A blog is a websitewith a series of regular entries of commentary, de-scriptions of events, and other material such asgraphics. Many blogs can be set up for free (free isoften with the proviso for some advertising, whichis generally unobtrusive and of relevance to the blogcontent). Examples of blog sites include Google’sBlogspot, Blogger and Open Diary.A successful blog is topical, especially in notifiyingits readers of the latest developments and trends.There are in excess of 112 million blogs in the col-lective ‘blogsphere’ but there are few with relevanceto pharmaceutical microbiology.I have recently set-up a blog dedicated to pharma-ceutical microbiology. It can be found atwww.pharmig.blogspot.com  (Continued from page 4) The blog has recently discussed updates to standardsand regulation, discussed recent taxonomic changesand has looked at how the internet can aid pharma-ceutical microbiology. Please take some time to havelook at it, comment on the articles and register as afollower. 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