[Blueboard] Dr. Isono's Talk on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Microorganisms

etenorio at ateneo.edu etenorio at ateneo.edu
Tue Nov 15 16:05:57 PHT 2005

The Department of Biology cordially invites you to attend
a LECTURE-FORUM entitled:

             Search for Useful Microorganisms in Nature ---
          NITE's Collaborative Efforts with Asian Neighbors

                     Katsumi Isono, D. Sc.
                     Presidential Adviser,
      National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
                        Chiba, Japan

Venue: SEC C Lecture Hall (2nd Floor)
Time: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Microorganisms have been extensively used in every human society since
ancient times and enormous efforts have been made to improve their
functions to produce better quality of foods and beverages resulted from
their activities. In addition, numerous medicines of microbial origin, in
particular antibiotics from actinomucetes, have been discovered one after
another many of which were successfully used in medical therapy as well
as prevention of infectious diseases. Nevertheless, several lines of
evidence strongly suggest that the percentage of microorganisms living in
nature and identified so far comprises only 1 % or less. In the past,
screening of chemicals possessing medicinal and other useful activities
has been attempted by using the methods collectively termed
'combinatorial chemistry', in which computer-assisted designing of active
compounds is extensively sought to create new lead- and seed-compounds of
various categories. However, it is obvious that compounds of entire
structural and functional novelty cannot be created in this way. Hunting
for microorganisms that produce novel compounds with novel activities is
still the only way to achieve this goal.

The Biological Resource Center of NITE (NBRC) was established in 2002 in
Japan to substitute the roles played by the Institute for Fermentation,
Osaka (IFO) and to extend them so as to cope with the needs from academia
and industries for the supply of reliable microbial strains that may be
used as type and reference strains for the identification and
characterization of new isolates from nature. To achieve the roles, we
have decided to initiate collaboration with our Asian neighbors, many of
which are rich in the diversity of plants and animals, and hence most
likely of microorganisms, in the isolation and characterization of
microorganisms in each country and in the development of suitable methods
to exploit the microbial power in various industrial fields. Along this
line, we proposed to establish an organization termed 'Asian Consortium
for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Microorganisms' abbreviated
as ACM so that our bilateral collaborations within Asia will become more
transparent which will eventually lead to multinational collaboration of
some sort for easier exchange of useful information and for the
development of human resources in microbiology and related fields.

In my talk, these activities of NITE will be outlined and their future
perspectives will be presented.

Email your questions to: etenorio at ateneo.edu

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