Call for papers: microorganisms - Special Issue
The measurement of heat released from metabolically active microorganisms has seen an unprecedented rise in sensitivity and technical versatility over the last two decades. Modern calorimeters enable the detection of the metabolic heat released from individual cells in nano-calorimeters, from suspensions of microorganisms or films on solid supports as well as from gross metabolic activity in liter-sized soil samples.
Despite the extremely high signal to noise ratio and the high temporal data density, the information content in calorimetric data is not easy to extract and difficult to compare between labs, due to the lack of standardized evaluation methods and the complexity of the underlying chemical processes. This notwithstanding, the high accuracy of calorimetric studies offers an enormous potential for more rigorous quantitative approaches, that go beyond discriminating metabolic states in a purely descriptive manner. Harnessing microbial heat production has proved particularly successful in studies of inhibitory effects on metabolism exerted by natural or synthetic compounds in environmental and medical studies.
The Special Issue fosters the advancement of quantitative calorimetric analyses of metabolic activities of microorganisms with the aim to provide well-defined toxicity measures for substances that interfere with microbial metabolism. Corresponding research comprises the risk assessment of environmental pollutants - particularly heavy metals and radionuclides - as well as monitoring the suppression of metabolic activity of human pathogens by pharmacologically relevant substances. The Special Issue welcomes studies that share a common interest in advancing calorimetric data analysis to derive well-defined toxicity measures.
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