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The development of new methods for testing disinfectants is a multi-disciplinary enterprise. It is tempting for physical scientists and engineers to apply evaluation criteria that are widely-used in their disciplines. This article explains why disinfectant test methods require different evaluation strategies and acceptance criteria than used in the physical sciences.

The summer meeting was held in Bozeman, MT, July 13-15, 2010, and drew over 70 attendees from 26 industrial member companies, 14 visiting companies, as well as 6 government entities and 9 universities. Thirteen invited speakers presented research addressing session topics on ophthalmologic biofilms, biofilm fundamentals, biofilms in the built environment, biofilm methods, wound biofilms, and systems analysis of biofilms. In addition to informative presentations from invited industrial and academic experts, we also showcased the research of CBE faculty, staff and graduate students.

ExxonMobil has joined the CBE as our newest Industrial Associate member.  The designated rep from EM will be Jennifer Hornemann, who completed her PhD with Joe Seymour and Sarah Codd in 2009, at Montana State University. Jenn’s interests are generally corrosion-related, particularly with regard to sulfate reducing bacteria in oil-bearing formations and production equipment and piping.

See a listing of our Industrial Associate member companies.

Crystal Richards and Mari Eggers were recently featured for their research work on Montana water quality. Crystal and Mari are both microbiology graduate students at Montana State University, working on their research in Anne Camper’s laboratory at the Center for Biofilm Engineering. They have confirmed contamination of surface and groundwater used as a source for drinking water on the Crow Reservation, something that residents had suspected.

"Viable read-time PCR in environmental samples: Can all data be interpreted directly?"
Fittipaldi M, Codony F, Adrados B, Camper A, Morato J
Microb Ecol. 2010; July 2010 [Epub ahead of print]
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"Modelling biofilm growth in the presence of carbon dioxide and water flow in the subsurface"
Ebigbo A, Helmig R, Cunningham AB, Class H, Gerlach R 
Advances in Water Resources 2010; 33:762–781
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The CBE 2010 Outstanding Researcher Award was presented to Mary Cloud Ammons in recognition of her contributions to successful industrial interactions, her record of publications and awards (including the 2009 Wound Healing Society Young Investigator Award), contributions to proposal writing at the CBE, and for her mentoring and teaching activities.

Homeland Security Newswire: “Bacteria will help keep CO2 safely sequestered,” June 22, 2010.

New Scientist: “Green machine: Bacteria will keep CO2 safely buried,” June 21, 2010.

Montana State University was awarded a record $109.5 million in research funding for the fiscal year ending June 30, showing the university's growing strength in biomedical sciences, energy, and the environment.

MSU received about $11 million more than last year and $6.5 million more than the previous high set in 2006. It's the third time that MSU's research dollars have exceeded $100 million.

Read the full story about MSU's research (July 26, 2010 -- MSU News Service)

Following the steps listed in a standard method enables a researcher to achieve the desired outcome. Similarly, the development of a method also follows a process to achieve the desired outcome of standardization. This process is described in the fourth Knowledge Sharing Article titled, “Testing surface disinfectants: Method development phases.”

Read the next in series,"Testing surface disinfectants: Method development phases"(KSA-SM-04.pdf)

Luis O. Serrano Figueroa and Abigail Richards presented a poster, “Siderophore production by haloakaliphilic bacteria under varied physiologic conditions,” BioMetals 2010, Tucson, AZ, July 25-30, 2010.

Anne Camper presented an overview of water sample results, McCormick & Baxter Annual Technical Team Meeting, Oregon DEQ & GSI Water Solutions, Portland, OR, July 7-9, 2010. This was a technical meeting reviewing information associated with the McCormick & Baxter creosote contamination site in Portland, OR. 

Isaac Klapper was a co-organizer and presenter at the 2010 SIAM Conference on Life Sciences Pittsburgh, PA, July 10-15, 2010. He presented “An exclusion principle for biofilm models,” in the Minisymposium on Bacterial Biofilms: Models, Analysis, and Simulation,” and “Electrodiffusion in microbial biofilms,” in the Minisymposium on Fluids with Dynamic Microstructure.

Please download the position descriptions (pdfs) you are interested in. These files will not be kept indefinitely on our website.

Agile Sciences, Inc.
Biofilm Scientist (pdf)
Group Leader, Microbiology (website)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Microbiologist or Biologist (pdf)

Adrienne (Adie) Phillips was recently hired to work on ongoing carbon sequestration and biomineralization projects in Al Cunningham and Robin Gerlach’s lab. She has recently returned to Montana after working in New Jersey with an environmental consulting company. Adie has an MS in Environmental Engineering, Montana State University and she worked as a Research Engineer for Al Cunningham and Robin Gerlach’s group from 2005-2008.

Mery de la Fuente, Ph.D. student from the University of Concepcion, Chile, is visiting the CBE for three months (July-September). In Concepcion, she is a working with Dr. Homero Urrutia Briones’ lab group. During her time here, Mery will be learning how to grow biofilms in capillary flow cells and how to operate the confocal.

"Microbial conversion of biodiesel by-products to biofuel," Thesis Defense by Kelly O’Shea, MS Candidate in Microbiology, Montana State University, July 2010
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"Specific and rapid enumeration of viable but non-culturable and viable-culturable gram negative bacteria using flow cytometry”
Khan MT, Pyle BH, Camper AK
Appl Environ Microbiol 2010; E-published 11 June 2010
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"Testing wound dressings using an in vitro wound model"
Lipp C, Kirker K, Agostinho A, James G, Stewart P
Journal of Wound Care 2010; 19(6):220-226
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The summer 2010 Montana Biofilm Science & Technology Meeting (formerly TAC) for our Industrial Associate members and invited guests was held in Bozeman, MT, July 13-15, 2010 (Tuesday–Thursday). The Montana Biofilm Meeting featured sessions on ophthalmologic biofilms, wound care biofilms, biofilm fundamentals, biofilms in the built environment, systems analysis of biofilms, and biofilm methods. Please contact Paul Sturman (406) 994-2102 for more information. Click on title link to view complete article and agendas.

Have you ever wondered what statistical attributes define a standard disinfectant test?  In the third Knowledge Sharing Article, Professor Marty Hamilton discusses the eight statistical attributes: reasonableness, relevancy, validity, ruggedness, resemblance, responsiveness, repeatability, and reproducibility that a standardized disinfectant test should possess at an acceptable level.  Included in the discussion is the answer to one of the “top 10” frequently asked questions, “What are acceptable repeatability and reproducibility standard deviations?”

Heidi Smith, masters student in Land Resources & Environmental Science and the CBE, received a competitive NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) for 2010/2011, with the possibility for two additional years of renewal support (30K each year).  Heidi’s project is entitled, “The role of microbes in microbial synthesis and transformation of dissolved organic matter in glacial environments.”  Heidi's advisor and mentor is Christine Foreman.

Michelle Olivo, ICU Medical, Dallas, Texas, and Marcia Ryder, consultant, Ryder Science, San Marcos, California, visited the CBE June 1-2, 2010.  They are working on on-going collaborations investigating needle-free devices and healthcare acquired infections with the Medical Biofilms Lab.