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Welcome To Microscopy Society of Southern Africa

OUR MISSION

 

To promote and develop microscopy and associated techniques at all levels in the Southern African region


The microscopy society of Southern Africa is a non-profit organisation dedicated to furthering microscopy in the broadest sense in all branches of science within the Southern African region. 


The Society was founded as the Electron Microscopy Society of Southern Africa (EMSSA) in 1962 and became a formal member of IFSEM (the International Federation of Societies for Electron Microscopy) in 1966. 


The primary objectives of the Society are

  • To further microscopy and related topics in all branches of science
  • To arrange meetings of microscopists (and workers in associated disciplines) in Southern Africa
  • To act as liaison between members of the Society and the IFSEM or other bodies.

 

This is achieved mainly through

  • an annual meeting of the Society
  • publication of a Newsletter [MSSA NEWS]
  • maintenance of an Instrument and Skills Database
  • the establishment of regional groups with closer co-operative ties



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Latest News

MSSA Conference 2017

BY MSSA2017

This year the Electron Microscope Unit of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University will be host to the 55th Annual Congress of the Microscopy Society of Southern Africa (MSSA 2017). The conference will take place at the Conference Centre of Warmbaths, A Forever Resort (Bela-Bela) from 04-07 December 2017. Please visit www.mssa2017.co.za for more information

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 July 10, 2017
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MSSA conference

MSSA2017 IMPORTANT DATES

BY mssa2017

Please note the following MSSA2017 important dates

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 July 10, 2017
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MSSA conference

Students from the University of Stellenbosch win prizes at the national microscopy conference, Dec 2016

BY MSSA

At the recent microscopy conference, hosted by the Microscopy Society of Southern Africa (MSSA) in Port Elisabeth in Dec 2016, three SU students from the Department of Physiological Sciences won prizes for their research performed. Innovative microscopy techniques were implemented to unravel research questions around Alzheimer’s disease and neuronal cell death as well as brain cancer. Dumisile Lumkwana received the ‘Wirsam Light Microscopy Prize - Best presentation’ for presenting data of her PhD work, Jurgen Kriel was awarded the Wirsam Scientific Prize - Best Student Paper Life Sciences’ for his MSc research and Yigael Powrie received the ‘SA Scientific Award – Best Presentation Confocal Microscopy’ for his MSc work.
 
‘This is a wonderful achievement and testimony for the excellent and hard  work, a happy moment for me’, said their supervisor Dr Ben Loos, who heads up the Neuro-Research Group at the department of Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University.

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 July 05, 2017
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MSSA Newsletter

Investigating the role of rilmenidine and spermidine in an in vitro model of Alzheimer’s disease

BY Dumisile Lumkwana

Modulation of autophagy has been shown to have therapeutic potential for Alzheimer’s disease through favouring the clearance of aggregate prone proteins such as amyloid-? and p-Tau. Recent research has shown that spermidine and rilmenidine have the potential to affect autophagy, but the exact relationship between autophagy, protein clearance and cell death remains unclear. Moreover, the impact of concentration differences on autophagic flux and on subsequent protein clearance and neuronal toxicity is uncertain. Therefore, we aimed to characterize the autophagic profile of rilmenidine and spermidine to assess the degree of protection and protein clearance in a paraquat induced neuronal toxicity model of Alzheimer’s disease.

 
We found that spermidine and rilmenidine modulate autophagic flux in a concentration dependent manner. Both these agents up-regulated autophagy, improved cell viability through clearance of protein aggregates and protected the cells against paraquat induced neuronal toxicity. In addition, spermidine protects against mitochondrial and tubulin network damage. These findings suggest that precision controlled induction of autophagy may be a suitable pharmacological target for preserving neuronal cell viability in Alzheimer’s disease. Future work is required to better quantify autophagic flux.


Stellenbosch University

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 July 05, 2017
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MSSA Newsletter

Mitochondrial Fission and Fusion in Glioma’s – cell death sensitization through autophagy control

BY Jurgen Kriel

The study focussed on the effect that autophagy modulation has on mitochondrial bioenergetics in the context of cancer metabolism, entailing extensive characterisation of mitochondrial dynamics and morphometrics. We developed a unique photoactivation protocol that more accurately determines the rate at which mitochondrial fission and fusion occurs. Image processing algorithms were also constructed in Wolfram Mathematica to better quantify the morphological changes within mitochondrial networks. Correlating these data sets with changes in autophagic flux and mitochondrial respiration, we determined that a state of intermediate connectivity exists in mitochondrial networks when autophagic degradation is impaired. During this maladaptive state, brain cancer cells could be effectively sensitized to undergo cell death, indicating the importance of both autophagic flux and mitochondrial bioenergetics in upholding tumour metabolism. 


Stellenbosch University

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 July 05, 2017
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MSSA Newsletter

Tubulin dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease

BY Yigael Powrie

The MSc study entailed investigating the relationship between the neuronal microtubulin cytoskeleton and the protein degradation process called autophagy, a system known to be dysfunctional in Alzheimer’s disease. We sought to elucidate previously unknown molecular events that occur prior to the onset of cell death brought on by induced autophagy dysfunction and in doing so highlight potentially new targets for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Stellenbosch University

 

IMAGE: Micrograph of a mouse brain cell stained with fluorescent antibodies to visualize the microtubulin cytoskeleton (Green), Spastin (Red) - a protein known to interact with microtubulin and the nucleus (Blue).

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 July 05, 2017
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MSSA Newsletter

FEEDBACK FROM THE WINNER OF THE ALS/JEOL MOST PROMISING MICROSCOPIST AWARD 2016

BY MSSA

I am Genevéve Marx and currently a 2nd year PhD student at the Centre for HRTEM at Nelson Mandela University (NMU), Port Elizabeth. The supervisors of my PhD project are Dr Johan Westraadt and Prof Jan Neethling. The title of my PhD project is “Microstructural Evolution of Welded Creep Aged CSEF Steel” and it entails the quantitative measuring of the microstructure of creep strength enhanced ferritic (CSEF) steels that have been in use in coal-fired power plants and welded on. These results is used as input into creep models that can be implemented to predict more accurately the remaining life of the power plant components made of these steels.
What an honor it was to win the prestigious ALS/JEOL award for the “Most Promising Microscopist” at the 54th Annual Microscopy Society of Southern Africa (MSSA 2016) conference held in Port Elizabeth...


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 September 12, 2017
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Fax:  012 3625150


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