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MUMMIES, BONES, and ANCIENT PATHOGENS: CONFERENCE PROGRAM 7-8 September 2012

Below is the Program for the Conference MUMMIES, BONES, and ANCIENT PATHOGENS to be held in Sardinia, Italy 7-8 September 2012.  You can find a PDF for download at the bottom.  I hope everyone has an incredible time!

Alyson

MUMMIES, BONES, and ANCIENT PATHOGENS:  CONFERENCE PROGRAM

7-8 September 2012

STINTINO Palazzo Comunale, Sala Consiliare – Stintino, Sardinia, Italy

DAY 1

9:45-10:15 Opening of the Meeting
Salvatore Rubino, Co-chair Organizing Committee
Antonio Diana, Mayor of Stintino
Francesco Tamponi, Responsabile Regionale per i beni culturali ecclesiastici

Daniela Rovina, Soprintendenza Archeologica per le Provincie di Sassari e Nuoro
Attilio Mastino, Rector, University of Sassari

10:15-12:00 Session I: Archaic and Modern Genomes

Piero Cappuccinelli (Session Chair) Introductory remarks

10:15-10:45
Susanna Sawyer
Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Archaic Genomes: A Story Written in Neanderthal and Denisova DNA

10:45-11:15
Carsten Pusch
Institute of Human Genetics, Division of Molecular Genetics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
First Insights into the Metagenome of Ancient Egyptian Mummies Using Next Generation Sequencing

11:15-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:00
Paolo Francalacci
Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Placing the Sequence of “Ötzi the Iceman” in the High Resolution Y chromosome Phlylogeny by Whole Genome Sequencing

12:00-15:15 Session II: Evolutionary Medicine, Ancient Pathogens and Pathologies

David Kelvin (Session Chair) Introductory remarks

12:00-12:30
Bernardino Fantini
Institute for the History of Medicine and Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
The Convergence of Genomic Studies and Historical Analysis of Infectious Diseases: the Case of Black Death

12:30-13:00
Marco Milanese
Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
The Biological Archives of Alghero: Archaeological Questions and Expectations from Biohistory and Biotechnology Projects in the Study of Human Remains from Urban Populations during the Thirteenth to the Seventeenth Centuries

13:00-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:00 Session II: Evolutionary Medicine, Ancient Pathogens and Pathologies (Continued)

14:30-15:00
Gino Fornaciari
Division of Paleopathology, History of Medicine and Bioethics, Department of Oncology, Transplants and Advanced Technologies in Medicine
Medical School University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Cancer and Infectious Diseases: the Challenge of Soft Tissue Paleopathology

15:00-15:30
Frank Rühli
Centre for Evolutionary Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Evolutionary Medicine: Ancient Mummies and More…

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Session III: Ancient Pathogens

Giovani Fadda (Session Chair) Introductory remarks

16:00-16:30
Eugenia Tognotti
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Università degli Studi di Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Epidemics and Plagues in Sardinia from the 15th to the 20th Century

16:30-17:00
Raffaella Bianucci
Department of Anatomy, Pharmacology and Legal Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Vector-Borne Diseases in Ancient Human Remains

17:00-17:30
Helen Donoghue
Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, University College London, London, UK

Insights into Ancient Tuberculosis and Leprosy

17:30-18:00 Sparkling Wine Cocktail (Brut/Prosecco!)

End of the first day

DAY 2

9:30-12:15 Session IV: Bioarchaeology, Modeling, and Perspectives on Ancient Pathogens

Mohammed Al Ahdal and Marco Milanese (Session Chairs): Introductory remarks

Archaeology of Sant’Imbenia

9:30-9:40
Elisabetta Garau, Marco Rendeli
Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Seeds for Thought: Overview of the Archaeology of Sant’Imbenia

9:40-9:50
Rossella Filigheddu
Dipartimento di Scienze della Natura e del Territorio, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Phenotypic Analysis of Seeds from Sant’Imbenia

9:50-10:00
Alberto Leon
University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
Summary of Sequencing of Seeds from Sant’Imbenia

Analysis of a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

10:00-10:10
Franco Campus
Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Bioarcheaology of a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

10:10-10:20
Andrea Montella, Vittorio Mazzarello
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Histological Analysis of Mummified Tissue from the Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

10:20-10:30
Luca Simbula, Gianni Meloni, Paolo Lampus
Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche, Microchirurgiche e Mediche, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
X-Ray Examination of Mummies and Bones from a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

10:30-10:40
Cristiano Farace, Roberto Madeddu
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
A Possible Estimation of Historical Pollution Increases by Heavy Metals Analysis in Ancient Bones: Emerging Data from Castelsardo Mummies and Comparison with Mummies from Other Centuries

10:40-10:50
Manuela Murgia, Bianca Paglietti
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Identification of Sporigens in a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

10:50-11:00
Claudia Viganò, Patrizia Marongiu
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Analysis of Pathogens Using PCR of Biomaterial from a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

11:00-11:20 Coffee

11:20-11:30
Luca Ruiu, Ignazio Floris
Dipartimento di Agraria, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
First Report of Insects and Other Arthropods on the Mummies Found inside a Crypt of the Castelsardo Cathedral (Sardinia, Italy)

11:30-11:40
Nikki Kelvin
Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Mother-and-Infant Deaths from a Crypt of Sant’Antonio Abate Cathedral, Castelsardo

Historical Modelling and Perspectives

11:40-11:50
Alessandro Ponzelleti
Art Historian, Sassari, Italy
Practices and Burial Crypts in Churches of Sardinia: Some Examples

11:50-12:00
Luca Sanna
Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
An Integrated Bioarchaeology Project in North-West Sardinia: the Contribution of Preventive Archeology

12:00-12:10
Dario Piombino-Mascali
EURAC, Bolzano, Italy
The Sicily Mummy Project

12:10-12:20
Giampaolo Piga, Assumpciò Malgosa, Antonio Brunetti, Simona Spada, Stefano Enzo.
Dipartimento di Chimica e Farmacia, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Anthropological and Chemico-Physical Studies on the Mummies of Peter II of Aragon and Blanca d’Anjou

12:20-12:30
Pierre-Olivier Méthot
Institute for the History of Medicine and Health, Geneva University, Geneva, Switzerland
What is a Pathogen? Perspectives (and Problems) from Medical Bacteriology and Pathogenomics

12:30-12:50 Concluding Remarks

David Kelvin
A Cryptic Approach to Future Studies

Salvatore Rubino
Closing Remarks

End of the Meeting

Organizing Committee
Salvatore Rubino (Co-Chair), David Kelvin (Co-Chair)
Attilio Mastino, Marco Milanese, Bruno Masala, Nikki Kelvin, and Andrea Montella

Sponsors
University of Sassari
• “International PhD School in Biomolecular and Biotechnological Sciences”
• Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche
• Scuola di Dottorato, “Storia, Letterature e Cultura Mediterraneo”

International Sponsors
• University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
• IDR, Canada
• Shantou University Medical School, Shantou, China
• Journal of Infection in Developing Countries

This meeting is in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the founding of the University of Sassari.

Organizing Secretariat: Segreteria Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Viale San Pietro 43 B, 07100 Sassari segrdip@uniss.it

To register or receive more information or submit an abstract: rubino(at)uniss(dot)it or nkelvin(at)jidc(dot)org

Mummies, Bones, and Ancient Pathogens Conference Program

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Mummies, Bones and Ancient Pathogens — The Official Conference Poster

Below is the Official Poster for the Ancient Pathogens Conference in Sardinia, Italy.  More posts on the conference are to come including the full conference program.

And until then, here is a link to a past post on pathogens — My search for the Contagion Sign in Toronto.

http://blog.jidc.org/2011/09/16/some-friday-science-fun-contagion/

PDF of the Poster for Download:  AncientPathogensConference_SardiniaItaly

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A Plague of Bones: Conference!

Without a doubt, my favourite research project I have ever been a part of is the ancient Pathogens project. This was my research focus during my Visiting Professorship at the University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy in 2010. This was my Indian Jones moment, except the treasure was not rare artifacts but the discovery of ancient pathogens.

In Sardinia there is an abundance of ancient and medieval mass graves (see burial map).  Although these mass graves data back more than 3,000 years, the reason for the mass grave construction still remains a mystery.  Thereby a fascinating scientific problem exists:  What did these people buried together die from?

Archeology of Sardinia

We hypothesized that by sequencing the nonhuman DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of the victims in the mass graves, we could identify a pathogen that may have infected these people and caused their death.   Our list of pathogenic suspects that may have caused death included Yersinia pestis, Salmonella enterica, Bacillos anthracis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  This mode of attack, sequencing ancient DNA to determine cause of death, is not new and previous examples include identification of Salmonella enterica enterica serovar Thypi as the causative agent of the ancient plague of Athens in 430 BC [1] and Yersinia pestis as the agent of the Black Plague [2–4] although the later has been disputed [5].   Importantly, mass graves are commonly devised during a disease outbreak to limit the spread of disease, as in Europe during the Black Plague.  Therefore, we speculated that the people buried together in the mass graves of Sardinia died of the same cause, a disease epidemic.  By identifying and studying the causative agent of ancient plagues, we hope to learn about the evolving nature of human and animal modern pathogens so that we can model current and future epidemics.

Since I left Sardinia and my little project, the ancient Pathogen Project has grown enormously.  And that brings us to the announcement of the Ancient Pathogens meeting hosted by Professor Salvatore Rubino in Sardinia, Italy, in September.  The conference is sponsered by JIDC, University Health Network, Shantou University Medical School, Immune Diagnostics and Research, Comune Di Stintino, University of Sassari. This is an exciting opportunity!

Mass grave excavation in Alghero, Sardinia

Titled Mummies, Bones, and Ancient Pathogens, the conference will take place 7-8 September 2012, in Stintino, Sardinia, Italy, at the STINTINO Palazzo Comunale. Over the course of the two days, four sessions on “Archaic and Modern Genomes”, “Evolutionary Medicine, Ancient Pathogens and Pathologies”, “Ancient Pathogens”, and “Bioarchaeology of Sardinia and Sicily” will be held. Several of Europe’s foremost researchers in the fields of Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, the History of Medicine, and Ancient Pathogens are featured speakers, including Prof. Carsten Pusch of the Institute of Human GeneticsUniversity of Tübingen, Germany;  Prof. Bernardino Fantini University of Geneva, Switzerland; Prof. Marco Milanese, University of Sassari; Susanna Sawyer University of Tübingen, Germany; Prof. Raffaella Bianucci University of Turin; Prof. Paolo Francalacci University of Sassari; Prof. Marco Rendeli, University of Sassari; Elisabetta Garau, Unversity of Sassari; Rossella Filigheddu, University of Sassari; and Dr. Alberto Leo Shantou University to name a few. Just to tantalize you, here are some titles of the exciting presentations:

“Archaic Genomes: A Story Written in Neanderthal and Denisova DNA”

“Placing the sequence of “Ötzi the Iceman” in the high resolution Y chromosome phlylogeny by whole genome sequencing”

“Cancer and Infectious Diseases: the Challenge of Soft Tissue Paleopathology”

“Vector-Borne Diseases in Ancient Human Remains”

“The Sicily Mummy Project”

“First Insights into the Metagenome of Ancient Egyptian Mummies Using Next Generation Sequencing”

“Sequencing DNA from Ancient Seeds with Medicinal Properties”

For more information including registration, please visit the conference website http://www.mummiesbonesandancientpathogens.org/  or email Prof. Salvatore Rubino at rubino(at)uniss(dot)it

Reference List

    1.    Papagrigorakis MJ, Yapijakis C, Synodinos PN, Baziotopoulou-Valavani E (2006) DNA examination of ancient dental pulp incriminates typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens. Int J Infect Dis 10: 206-214. S1201-9712(05)00178-5 [pii];10.1016/j.ijid.2005.09.001 [doi].

2.    Raoult D, Aboudharam G, Crubezy E, Larrouy G, Ludes B, Drancourt M (2000) Molecular identification by “suicide PCR” of Yersinia pestis as the agent of medieval black death. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97: 12800-12803. 10.1073/pnas.220225197 [doi];220225197 [pii].

3.    Drancourt M, Aboudharam G, Signoli M, Dutour O, Raoult D (1998) Detection of 400-year-old Yersinia pestis DNA in human dental pulp: an approach to the diagnosis of ancient septicemia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 95: 12637-12640.

4.    Drancourt M, Raoult D (2004) Molecular detection of Yersinia pestis in dental pulp. Microbiology 150: 263-264.

5.    Gilbert MT, Cuccui J, White W, Lynnerup N, Titball RW, Cooper A, Prentice MB (2004) Absence of Yersinia pestis-specific DNA in human teeth from five European excavations of putative plague victims. Microbiology 150: 341-354.

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THEY’RE HEEERREEE! The JIDC Ts!

Eeeeeee!  The JIDC T-shirts came in from the printers this week.  In the office we were all very excited.  And today I have just finished sending the shirts to some of the JIDC Open Access Week winners and JIDC Editors.  Can’t wait to everyone to receive the shirts!

Want to join the JIDC T-shirt wearing team? Send in a picture of you wearing your JIDC for posting on the Blog or feel free to post your picture to the JIDC Facebook page.

Here we are at JIDC Canada wearing our JIDC Ts proudly!

It's not too COLD in Canada to wear our JIDC T!

If you are interested in obtaining a JIDC T-shirt and you were not a winner in our T-shirt contest, please contact me at akelvin(at)jidc(dot)org.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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The Birth of JIDC…A new kind of Journal

In the beginning . . . there was . . . an Idea . . . JIDC

There is an old saying that “Success has a thousand mothers and failure has none”. JIDC, I am proud to say, has thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Truly, thousands. The success is of JIDC is the fruit of the dedication and hard work of editors, mentors, proofreaders, page setters, reviewers, web designers, web wizards, translators,  and of course the authors who contribute their precious work to JIDC.

Interestingly, I am frequently asked how JIDC began. In a way it began overlooking a mountain in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in May of 2006. A great number of my associates were attending a meeting—the first International Meeting of Infectious Disease in Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We had many intense discussions on the problems facing scientists from developing countries attempting to publish in predominantly western journals and from these discussions evolved the unorthodox idea of a journal that was dedicated to scientists and infectious disease in developing countries.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan AdvanTours Photo

Many of us had long recognized that scientists and infectious disease science from developing countries were dramatically underrepresented in journals published in western countries. The underlying  science from infectious disease clinicians and scientists, we believed, was of a high calibre, but often the writing and presentation within manuscripts were not.  The solution, we summarized, in the majestic scenery of Bishkek, was to provide assistance in the writing and presentation of data for scientists’ draft JIDC manuscripts.  We thus added to JIDC a mentor system to guide and aid authors from developing countries with both writing skills and manuscript organization.

But alas, finances presented the greatest hurdle for scientists to publish and for the JIDC to function. Many journals require a payment of sorts to be made for accepted manuscripts to be published. The average going rate of $3,000 USD in western journals is manageable by western scientists, but the amount is simply out of the reach for many scientists and clinicians in developing countries. In fact, this may represent nearly one half a year’s wages in some developing countries. The JIDC, we declared, must be free of fees for those who cannot afford them. JIDC today is open access, free to submit, and the publication fee is waived for those who cannot afford the modest fee of 200 euros. The financial burden of maintaining JIDC is shouldered by volunteers of JIDC and grants from foundations and organizations such as the Foundation of Bank of Sardinia, Sardegna Ricerche, the University of Sassari, Shantou University Medical College, the Li Ka Shing Foundation, and the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to these people and organizations.

Through the months and years that followed the Bishkek meeting, JIDC was able to attract the dedicated team that now manages submitted manuscripts, reviews manuscripts, edits manuscripts, and publishes papers. The success of JIDC is the success of the many people who have joined in this exciting and rewarding journey! As we look forward to our fifth an

niversary in 2012, the future is in our hands and it is a glorious sunrise.

Salvatore Rubino, Editor in Chief humble servant…..

JIDC Website:  http://www.jidc.org/index.php/journal

JIDC Editorial Meeting 2011 in Stintino, Sardinia

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Thank You to Cameroon — Compliments on the JIDC Mentoring System

A couple of weeks ago, JIDC Editor-in-Chief Salvatore Rubino received a letter from a researcher in Cameroon.  The letter from Jane-Francis Akoachere of the University of Buea in Cameroon, described how the JIDC Mentoring System supports researchers in non-English speaking countries to communicate the research from their communities on an international level.

When the letter was received, everyone at JIDC especially E-in-C Salvatore Rubino was incredibly moved as the Mentoring is the HEART of JIDC.  The whole JIDC Editorial and Technical Staff wanted to show how important this letter was to us and say a big THANK YOU to Jane-Francis Akoachere.  It means more than can be expressed to have a reader communicating their gratitude.

So… Thank You Jane-Francis Akoachere and Cameroon from everyone at JIDC!

Here is  Dr. Jane-Francis Akoachere’s Letter:

Dear Dr Salvatore Rubino,

I was browsing through Scopus and came across JIDC for the first time. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search and got a write up (PDF document) on the mission and vision of JIDC. I salute the concern you and your team has shown  about scientists in developing countries and I earnestly thank you all for  drawing up such a project. Personally, I think I will benefit from the JIDC project because being linked to a mentor, will enable me polish up my writing skills and come up with good manuscripts.

Kindly extend my warm greetings, appreciation and best wishes to your entire team.

Jane-Francis Akoachere,
Coordinator for Microbiology Programme,
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,
Faculty of Science,
University of Buea,
Cameroon.

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WE ARE JIDC, The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries – An OA Journal with a Mentoring System!

WE ARE JIDC, The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries – Pleased to meet you!

We are JIDC, the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries.  We are an Open Access Journal and proud to be Open Access and participating in International Open Access Week.  Our non-for-profit journal publishes peer-reviewed papers focusing on medical and biomedical research studies that affect health and medicine in lower-income countries.  Research manuscripts can be in the form of research articles, case reports, and review articles.  Importantly, JIDC has developed a Unique Mentoring System to facilitate the publication of scientific articles in need of guidance in English editing and/or scientific direction.  Since all scientific research merits publication, it is JIDC’s mission to help develop scientific and medical studies into scientifically sound research articles by use of the mentoring system.  As scientific studies from all areas of the globe are published through JIDC we hope that JIDC becomes an intersection point of international science.  JIDC strives to be an international platform for the scientific interaction between the developed and developing worlds.

For more information on JIDC, please see the JIDC Journal Website!  Or more information can be found in our JIDC downloadable PDF document About JIDC.

Open Access and JIDC

Open Access!  We provide immediate open access of accepted papers on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.  As an Open Access journal, JIDC provides all published articles freely available from our journal website.  The articles published in JIDC are  online from our journal website in PDF form that can then be downloaded for reading and sharing and referencing in future work.  The object of research is to increase knowledge of a particular subject. To conduct research but not to share the results, therefore, is to defeat its purpose.  The objective of JIDC is to allow researchers in all countries access to a high-quality international journal, not just to read, but more importantly, in which to publish research for others to read.

An International Journal!

As an international journal, publications are encouraged from laboratories from both developed and developing countries.  JIDC welcomes manuscripts from any country but particularly strives to provide all infectious disease researchers from developing countries with an international forum for publishing their research findings.  And together with our JIDC Blog it is also our hope that JIDC can be a platform for smaller research groups in developing countries to raise their profile and/or introduce them and their expertise to the research community. 

Who Are We?

JIDC was founded by Professor Salvatore Rubino of the University of Sassari in Sassari, Sardinia, Italy.  Professor Salvatore Rubino is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of Salmonella enteric and professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. 

We are an incredibly large group of co-operative scientists and clinicians that work together for the common goal that all research merits publication.  Under the direction of Salvatore Rubino there are 15 senior editors who are located across the globe:  Saudi Arabia, United States, Korea, Vietnam, Turkey, Bahrain, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong, China and the Netherlands.  Please see the regional offices for more information on your local JIDC branch.

In addition, there are 15 Editors, 11 Associate Editors, 1 Technical Editor, 9 Scientific Editors, 8 members of the Linguistics Division and an Extensive Editorial Board. 

Of course JIDC could not run without a webmaster, Marco Scano, who organizes the online technical aspects our monthly publication.  And creative designs including Journal Art Covers are done by Jeff Coombs.

More information on the Editorial Team of JIDC can be found here.

More about the Mentoring System

Mentoring is a necessary part of teaching and learning in the sciences and scientific research.  Most of us begin with an attempt to write our first paper, which is corrected by our supervisor and so the process begins.  We are all mentored, to a greater or lesser extent, in the art of getting papers accepted for publication.

Open Access Week Posts to come include an indepth look into the JIDC Mentoring System and the Importance of Open Access.

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