Any method allowed for presentations at ASM meeting, as long as you use Powerpoint on a PC.

Just got this email from ASM linking to a message about my presentation at the upcoming ASM meeting in San Francisco.

Here is the message.


I highlight some parts that I find disappointing at best.  Basically- they say “You can do your presentation is any way.  As long as you convert it to PowerPoint for a PC.”  Never mind other tools to do presentations.  Like Keynote.  Or Prezi.  Or, well, anything else.  Never mind people who use Macs.  Or Linux computers.  Or iPads.

I have NEVER had a problem doing a presentation off of my Mac or iPad.  I have had MANY problems when I have converted my Keynote or PDF files or other material to Powerpoint for a PC.

Oh, and forget about modifying your presentation in response to anything going on in the session (which I do frequently).  I try to tune my slides to the actual crowd.  No longer possible.

Maybe I should use no slides, like I did at TEDMED.  Or maybe I should do a Ross Perot and have charts.  Maybe I will bring my own projector and set it up just before my talk …  who knows … but I hate it when meetings say “Trust us – you won’t have any problems with our system”.

May 9, 2012

Dear Jonathan Eisen;
Thank you for participating as a speaker at asm2012, ASM’s 112th General Meeting in San Francisco, June 16-19, 2012. As a speaker, we kindly request that you consider the following guidelines as you finalize your PowerPoint presentation in the session listed below and also take note of some of the new requirements and changes for asm2012.

Session Details
Session Date/Time: 6/17/2012 3:00:00 PM – 6/17/2012 5:30:00 PM
Session Title: The Great Indoors: Recent Advances in the Ecology of Built Environments
Presentation Title: microBEnet: The Microbiology of the Built Environment Network (If your presentation title is not listed or incorrect, please provide this information to xxxxx immediately.
Length of your Personal Presentation: You are allotted 30 minutes for your presentation or lecture unless otherwise notified by the convener of this session.

New this Year
In order to provide the highest quality experience for our attendees, ASM now requires that all speakers upload their presentations at least four hours before their session begins (if you have a morning session, we recommend you upload your slides at 2:00 p.m. the afternoon before).

Speakers will no longer be permitted to use personal laptops during their presentations. The General Meeting began experiencing a greater number of technical issues as more and more speakers relied on using personal laptops from which to present. This contributed to unique technical situations during individual presentations as well as awkward transitions between speakers. The General Meeting will be utilizing the Presentation Management System for all speakers and our talented and dedicated set of technicians will be well-prepared and equipped to ensure all presentations are presented in the way they are intended and there are smooth transitions between speakers.

asm2012 will feature a networked presentation submission system, called our Presentation Management System. The tips below will help ensure that little, if any, editing will need to be done on-site, allowing you to quickly review your presentation and then attend other sessions in progress. However, ASM strongly recommends that you visit the Speaker Ready Room in Room 120 to test your slides before your session begins to ensure that they run properly on the Presentation Management System. The Presentation Management System can accommodate both Mac and PC based presentations.

The tips below are for both Windows and Mac users. As all the provided computers will be PCs, Mac users should additionally review Considerations for Mac Users at the bottom of this document.

· Building Your Presentation

Please take steps to compress your videos. Uncompressed videos will take longer to upload and load within your presentation, and will not be better quality than a modern MPEG-4 codec. We can only accept movies created as MPGs, WMVs, or with the following AVI codecs: MPEG-4 (Divx, Xvid, or WMVs), Cinepack, Techsmith. Flash content (SWF) is fully supported.

Note: It is important your movies do not completely fill the screen. In the meeting room you will only have a mouse to advance your slides. You can only advance your PowerPoint with a mouse by clicking on the slide, not the movie itself.

If you plan to play a DVD as part of your presentation, please notify a technician in the Speaker Ready Room so arrangements can be made for assistance in your meeting room.

We only supply fonts that are included with Office 2010. If you need a specialized font, it should be embedded into your PowerPoint presentation. For instructions on this process, please click on the following link:

· Before you Depart

Advance Submission:
You may submit your presentation starting on Friday, May 18. You will receive a notification on May 18 that will provide you with the link to upload your presentation.

Multiple Presenters:
Please do not combine multiple presenters’ PowerPoints into one file and then submit under one name. The Presentation Management System manages presenters individually and any co-presenter will not be able to logon to edit the combined presentation.

Please bring a backup copy of your presentation along with you when you depart for your meeting. Copy your PowerPoint and all movies to a folder on a USB drive or CD. PowerPoint does NOT embed movies, and therefore, they must all be placed in the same folder as your PowerPoint.

· At the Meeting

Speaker Ready Room:

Speakers should review their presentation in the Speaker Ready Room prior to their scheduled presentation. The Speaker Ready Room will be staffed with technicians that can assist with any compatibility or formatting issues within your presentation. The computers in the Speaker Ready Room will be configured with hardware and software exactly like the computer in the meeting rooms.

Be sure to use the mouse to advance your slides, not the keyboard, as you will only have a mouse at the podium to advance your presentation. Left click advances the slides; right click goes back. Once you are comfortable that your presentation is complete, confirm the date, time, and room for your session. Be sure to click the green “save/logout” button on the top of the screen.

Speaker Ready Room: Room 120

Hours of Operation:

Friday, 6/15/12: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 6/16/12: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, 6/17/12: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Monday, 6/18/12: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 6/19/12: 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

· Considerations for Mac Users

If you use a version of PowerPoint prior to 2008, please be sure any embedded pictures are not TIFF format. These images will not show up in Windows PowerPoint. With PowerPoint 2010 for the Mac, this is no longer an issue, and any inserted image will be compatible.

Keynote Users:
Please export your presentation as a PowerPoint Presentation.
If you are having any issues please notify Mac support at XXXXX for additional help.

By following the guidelines above, your presentation will go smoothly. Should you have any questions not addressed in this document, please feel free to email XXXX.

If you have any questions regarding the scientific program or session details, please contact Janet Mitchell at XXXXXX.


Janet M Mitchell, M.S.
Program Manager, General Meeting

Full list of 2012 American Academy of Microbiology Fellows Announced

Just got this email and well, I thought I would share.  I would share even if I was not on the list since, well, I love microbes and microbiology.  Note the list is also available on the AAM Web site here.

The American Academy of Microbiology is honored to welcome these new Fellows, elected in recognition of their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology:
  • James B. Anderson, Ph.D., University of Toronto, Mississauga, ON, Canada
  • Dan I. Andersson, Ph.D., Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Raul Andino, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Brenda J. Andrews, Ph.D., University of Toronto, BC, Canada
  • Charles Barlowe, Ph.D., Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH
  • Joel B. Baseman, Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio
  • Ruth L. Berkelman, M.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Robert E. Blankenship, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis
  • James B. Bliska, Ph.D., Stony Brook University, NY
  • Kerry S. Bloom, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Jef D. Boeke, Ph.D., D. Sc., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Charles M. Boone, Ph.D., University of Toronto, BC, Canada
  • Stephen Buratowski, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • George Church, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Daniel G. Colley, Ph.D., University of Georgia, Athens
  • Patricia A. Conrad, Ph.D., D.V.M., University of California, Davis
  • Ross E. Dalbey, Ph.D., Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Roger J. Davis, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worester
  • Piet A.J. de Boer, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH
  • Mark R. Denison, M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Shou-Wei Ding, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
  • Jonathan Eisen, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • Luis Enjuanes, Ph.D., National Center of Biotechnology-Spanish National Research Council (CNB-CSIC), Campus Universidad Autonoma, Madrid, Spain
  • Tom Fenchel, Ph.D., D. Sc., University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Robert L. Garcea, M.D., University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Reid Gilmore, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
  • Douglas T. Golenbock, M.D., University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester
  • Robert M. Goodman, Ph.D., School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Daniel E. Gottschling, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
  • Glenda Gray, M.B. B.Ch., F.C. Paeds., Perinatal HIV Research Unit, Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Soweto and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • F. Ulrich Hartl, M.D., Dr. Med., Dr. Med. Habil, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany
  • Regine Hengge, Ph.D., Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • John E. Heuser, M.D., Washington University, St. Louis and Kyoto University, Japan
  • Wolf-Dietrich Heyer, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
  • Edward A. Hoover, D.V.M., Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Barbara J. Howlett, Ph.D., The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Philip Hugenholtz, Ph.D., University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia
  • James M. Hughes, M.D., Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
  • Eric Hunter, Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • Regine Kahmann, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany
  • Albert Z. Kapikian, M.D., NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Patrick Keeling, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Karla Kirkegaard, Ph.D., Stanford University, CA
  • Eugene V. Koonin, Ph.D., NCBI, NLM, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Thomas M. Kristie, Ph.D., National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
  • Nirbhay Kumar, Ph.D., Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
  • Ching Kung, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Jean-Paul Latge, Ph.D., Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
  • Jeffrey G. Lawrence, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jared R. Leadbetter, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • Maxine L. Linial, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA
  • Alison McBride, Ph.D., NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Xiang-Jin Meng, M.D., Ph.D, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
  • Hiroaki Mitsuya, M.D., Ph.D., National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Edward Mocarski, Jr., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Jens Nielsen, Ph.D., Dr. Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Victor Nizet, M.D., University of California, San Diego
  • Paul A. Offit, M.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA
  • Joseph S. Pagano, M.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Julian Parkhill, Ph.D., The Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Robin Patel, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • John T. Patton, Ph.D., NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Martin Polz, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Markus Ribbe, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
  • Naomi Rosenberg, Ph.D., Tufts University, Boston, MA
  • Eric J. Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • Peter Sarnow, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Christa M. Schleper, Ph.D., University of Vienna, Austria
  • Olaf Schneewind, M.D., Ph.D., University of Chicago, IL
  • David M. Serwadda, M.B.ChB., M. Med., M.P.H., Makerere University School of Public Health, Kampala, Uganda
  • Eric J. Snijder, Ph.D., Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands
  • Roger E. Summons, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
  • Michele S. Swanson, Ph.D., University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Rudolf K. Thauer, Dr. rer. nat., Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg, Germany
  • Kenneth L. Tyler, M.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver
  • Rytas Vilgalys, Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Peter R. Williamson, M.D., Ph.D., NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Thomas A. Wynn, Ph.D., NIAID, Bethesda, MD
  • X. Sunney Xie, Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Arturo Zychlinsky, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, Germany
We hope that you will join us in welcoming the new Fellows at the Fellows Luncheon and Meeting at the General Meeting in San Francisco on June 19th. 
Sincerely yours,
Bonnie L. Bassler, Ph.D. 
Chair, Board of Governors 
American Academy of Microbiology

Antibiotic use in animals (may) lead to superbugs in people #mBIO

New paper in mBIO of potential interest from Lance Price et al.:  Staphylococcus aureus CC398: Host Adaptation and Emergence of Methicillin Resistance in Livestock.  For those not in the know, mBIO is a relatively new Open Access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.  The paper discusses genomic studies of MRSA which has led the authors to conclude that antibiotic use in animals may contribute to the rise and spread of superbugs in people.

From here. Maximum-parsimony tree of the 89 CC398 isolates (including ST398SO385) based on 4,238 total SNPs, including 1,102 parsimony-informative SNPs with a CI of 0.9591. Clades and groups of importance are labeled in a hierarchical fashion to facilitate description in the text. The tree was rooted with clade I based on an iterative selection process that identified this group as the most ancestral (see Materials and Methods). COO, country of origin; AT, Austria; BE, Belgium; CA, Canada; CH, Switzerland; CN, China; DE, Germany; DK, Denmark; ES, Spain; FI, Finland; FR, France; GF, French Guiana; HU, Hungary; IT, Italy; NL, The Netherlands; PE, Peru; PL, Poland; PT, Portugal; SI, Slovenia; US, United States; P, pig; H, human; R, horse; T, turkey; B, bovine; MET, methicillin susceptibility; R, resistant; S, susceptible.

The figure above is the only figure in the main text of the paper.  There are others in supplemental information which seems a bit strange to me – why put anything in supplemental information when the paper is only released online?  Or at least have thumbnail images for all figures in the main text …

Anyway, the paper and press release got picked up by many newsy places.  See for example:

I note – the Press Release is MUCH better than the last one that was about a paper by Price that I wrote about here: The Tree of Life: #PLoSOne paper keywords revealing: (#Penis #Microbiome #Circumcision #HIV); press release misleading …  Lance was awesomally quick to respond to my complaints about that PR.  The PR for this paper is not so bad — a bit over the top in some of the quotes – but no need for comments I think. 
Price LB, et al. 2012. Staphylococcus aureus CC398: host adaptation and emergence of methicillin resistance in livestock. mBio 3(1):e00305-11. doi:10.1128/mBio.00305-11.

UPDATE 2/21 5:30 PM: an alternative (and much more pleasing) press release from ASM is here.

Submit Ideas and Vote on Ideas for Presentation Topic Ideas for Special Session at the ASM General Meeting in SF 2012

Calling all microbiology fans – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is doing something very different for the 2012 General Meeting in San Francisco that might be of interest.  There will be a special session, organized by the Communications Committee (of which I am a member) where everyone/anyone can propose topics and then these get voted on to determine the winners (see Your Topics, Your Votes, Your Choice).

From the web site

Submit your scientific presentation topic for ASM2012 and then vote and comment on your colleagues’ ideas. The people who submit the top 5 entries will receive a travel subsidy of $800 (or $1200 for international submitters) and will present their topics at the General Meeting in San Francisco, on Tuesday, June 19 at 2:30 p.m., PT.

The submission deadline closes Feb. 1, 2012 at noon, GMT. The top 5 voted topics will then be approved by March 1, 2012.

The rules of the system are as follows (also from the web site)

  • All scientists are encouraged to submit, especially undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs and technical staff.
  • Registered site users get 10 votes to allocate among topics, with a maximum of 3 votes per topic. However, votes can be reallocated up to the Feb. 1, 2012 deadline.
  • Topics must be submitted with a title. A 3 to 5 sentence description is strongly encouraged. You may also include links to additional or background materials by inserting an http:// before a URL in the description field.
  • While multiple topics may be submitted. Only one topic per submitter will be selected. In other words, if a submitter gets 3 topics in the top 5 by Feb. 1, 2012, that person will only be allowed to present on one topic at the meeting.
  • The submitter must be the presenter.
  • No pseudoscience allowed. If you see an entry that looks suspicious, please flag the idea as inappropriate at the end of the topic’s description. ASM reserves the right to remove improper submissions and comments.
  • Topics must be presented within a 30 minute time slot, 10 minutes of which will be allotted for questions and answers.
  • Speakers for invited sessions at ASM2012 are not eligible to participate in this session.

So – please consider submitting ideas and voting on ideas and spreading the word.

Some general tips for how to keep up w/ American Society for Microbiology Mtg #ASM2011

Well, I have arrived in New Orleans for the ASM General Meeting 2011.  Some quick notes here about how people might keep up with whats going on:

Watch this or other real time streams of twitter posts
new TWTR.Widget({ version: 2, type: ‘search’, search: ‘#asm2011’, interval: 6000, title: ‘American Society for Microbiology General Meeting 2011’, subject: ‘#ASM2011 Twitter Stream’, width: 250, height: 300, theme: { shell: { background: ‘#8ec1da’, color: ‘#ffffff’ }, tweets: { background: ‘#ffffff’, color: ‘#444444’, links: ‘#1985b5’ } }, features: { scrollbar: true, loop: true, live: true, hashtags: true, timestamp: true, avatars: true, toptweets: true, behavior: ‘default’ } }).render().start();
Follow just my posts about the Meeting:
new TWTR.Widget({ version: 2, type: ‘search’, search: ‘#asm2011 from:phylogenomics’, interval: 6000, title: ”, subject: ‘Jonathan Eisen at ASM2011’, width: 250, height: 300, theme: { shell: { background: ‘#8ec1da’, color: ‘#ffffff’ }, tweets: { background: ‘#ffffff’, color: ‘#444444’, links: ‘#1985b5’ } }, features: { scrollbar: true, loop: true, live: true, hashtags: true, timestamp: true, avatars: true, toptweets: true, behavior: ‘default’ } }).render().start();

Read up on some of my past reports from ASM meetings

Thanks ASM for your offer of a Credit Card with APR of up to 17.99%

I had been growing somewhat fond of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) recently.  I had a decent time at the annual meeting.  I am chair elect for Division R (Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology) within ASM. And though their journals are not fully open access, they at least are making efforts to put material into Pubmed Central pretty rapidly.  But the amount of crap I get in the mail courtesy of ASM is really astounding.  And today could be the proverbial straw.  I got an offer for an ASM Credit Card via Bank of America with an APR that can be raised to more than 27% with one late payment.  Umm, thanks but no thanks.  And note to anyone out there thinking of signing up for ASM or their meetings – get ready for a massive waste of paper when your name and address get sold to marketers and annoying junk mail.  Fun fun fun.