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International Symposium: Microbiology: Transmission

Life and Matter Sciences | Madrid, Madrid, May 7-8, 2015


Everybody knows what the word "transmission" means. A word with a deep Latin flavour (transmitter, "sending over or across"), giving name to a full area of medical knowledge with heavy public health interest, the "transmissible diseases". Of course, diseases are never transmissible. What are transmissible are the microbial organisms contributing, in interaction with the host organism, to the emergence of the pathological symptoms. But "transmission" has a wider meaning, also referring to the events by which genetic material is transferred from a cell to another one, from one to other population, or to the transmission of bacterial clone(s), populations, and communities between microbiotas of different hosts, or among environmental microbial communities. In fact transmission means transfer of a significant biological informative unit from a biological entity to another of the same or different rank in the biological hierarchy. Transmission is a process, a general process of key-importance (maybe the most important one) in the origin and evolution of living organisms. Transmission, understood as a process, is shaped by a wealth of signals (in the very Peircean sense) produced by the interactive units involved in it (transmission semiotics), but is also determined or modified by the environmental changes (transmission ecology).

What we would like to investigate in this Symposium is "transmission as a central process in biology", inevitably focusing on a number of issues in which transmission results in deleterious consequences for humans, animals, or the biosphere. Knowing better the logistics of transmission we will be able to identify the type of interventions required to modulate or suppress some harmful transmission processes. Most importantly, we will approach an updated discussion of one of the leading processes shaping life.

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