Volume 4.01 | Jan 13

Neural Cell News 4.01, January 13, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Gladstone Scientists Identify Role of Key Protein in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia
Scientists have found how the protein TDP-43 may cause the neurodegeneration associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusion bodies. [Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, San Francisco]



Neuralstem Receives Approval to Commence First Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Stem Cell Trial at Emory ALS Center
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that its Phase I trial to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) with its spinal cord stem cells has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. [Neuralstem, Inc., Rockville]

New Insight in Nerve Cell Communication
Researchers have, with nanotechnology techniques, studied the way proteins recognize the small membrane vesicles that transmit signaling molecules from one nerve cell to another. [University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen]

Researcher Links Diabetic Complication, Nerve Damage in Bone Marrow
A research team led by a Michigan State University professor has discovered a link between diabetes and bone marrow nerve damage that may help treat one of the disease’s most common and potentially blindness-causing complications. [Michigan State University, East Lansing]

Researchers Identify Protein Needed to Develop Auditory Neurons
Sox2, a protein that regulates stem cell formation, was found to be involved in spiral ganglion neuron development. [University of California, San Diego]

Study Sheds Light on Role of Stem Cells in Children’s Brain Tumour
New research shows that medulloblastomas can grow from a type of brain stem cell and that these cancers are a distinct form of the disease which may require a completely different approach to treatment. [Queen Mary, University of London, London]

Scientists Discover a Controller of Brain Circuitry
By combining a research technique that dates back 136 years with modern molecular genetics, a neuroscientist has been able to see how a mammal’s brain shrewdly revisits and reuses the same molecular cues to control the complex design of its circuits. [Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore]

Sleeping Beauty Hooks Up with Herpes to Fight Brain Disease
Neuroscientists have brought together the herpes virus and a molecule known as Sleeping Beauty to improve gene therapy.  The work has allowed scientists to reach a long-sought goal: Shuttling into brain cells a relatively large gene that can remain on for an extended period of time. [University of Rochester Medical Centre, Rochester]

Silencing the Brain with Light
Neuroengineers find a new way to quickly and reversibly shut off neurons with multiple colors of light, which could lead to new treatments for epilepsy and chronic pain. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston]

Neuroscientists at Case Western Reserve University Store Information in Isolated Brain Tissue
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers are the first to create stimulus-specific sustained activity patterns in brain circuits maintained in vitro. [Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland]



Division and Apoptosis of E2f-Deficient Retinal Progenitors
By investigating E2f1-3 function in normal cells in vivo, researchers show that unlike fibroblasts, E2f1-3 null retinal progenitor cells or activated Muller glia can divide. [Nature]

Paracrine Regulation of Pancreatic Cancer Cell Invasion by Peripheral Nerves
Using an in vitro Matrigel dorsal root ganglion and pancreatic cancer cell co-culture model, the dynamic interactions between nerves and cancer cell migration and the role of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor were assessed. [J Natl Cancer Inst]

Impairment of Developmental Stem Cell-Mediated Striatal Neurogenesis and Pluripotency Genes in a Knock-In Model of Huntington’s Disease
Huntington’s Disease knock-in (Hdh-Q111) mice exhibited delayed acquisition of early striatal cytoarchitecture with aberrant expression of progressive markers of MSN neurogenesis (Islet1, DARPP-32, mGluR1, and NeuN). [PNAS]

Combinations of Genetic Mutations in the Adult Neural Stem Cell Compartment Determine Brain Tumour Phenotypes
Researchers have shown that activating E2fs are not universally required for normal mammalian cell division, but have an unexpected pro-survival role in development. [EMBO J]

Foxa2 and Nurr1 Synergistically Yield A9 Nigral Dopamine Neurons Exhibiting Improved Differentiation, Function and Cell Survival.
Foxa2, a forkhead transcription factor whose role in midbrain dopamine neuron development was recently revealed, synergistically cooperates with Nurr1 to induce dopamine phenotype acquisition, midbrain-specific gene expression, and neuronal maturation. [Stem Cells]

Cerebellar Stem Cells Act as Medulloblastoma-Initiating Cells in a Mouse Model and a Neural Stem Cell Signature Characterizes a Subset of Human Medulloblastomas
Inactivation of the tumor suppressor genes Rb and p53 in postnatal mouse cerebellum neural stem cells induced deregulated proliferation and resistance to apoptosis in vitro. [Oncogene]

Neural Stem Cells as a Novel Platform for Tumor-Specific Delivery of Therapeutic Antibodies
Researchers hypothesized that neural stem cells could serve as an ideal cellular delivery platform for targeting antibodies to malignant tumors. [PLoS One]

The Promotion of Endothelial Progenitor Cells Recruitment by Nerve Growth Factors in Tissue-Engineered Blood Vessels
Results demonstrated that nerve growth factors (NGF) can markedly increase endothelial progenitor cells mobilization and homing to vascular grafts. Neurotrophic factors such as NGF have a therapeutic potential for the construction of tissue-engineered blood vessels in vivo. [Biomaterials]



MedGenesis Announces Agreements with Amgen and Biovail
MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc. announced recently that it has successfully entered into an agreement with Amgen Inc., granting MedGenesis an exclusive, worldwide license for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor protein in central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS indications.

Buck Institute Commits to $41 Million Stem Cell Research Building in Novato
The Buck Institute for Age Research will build a $41 million building in which to conduct stem cell research at its Novato headquarters, even if it fails to get a cent of the $15 million in federal stimulus funds for which it has applied.

Buck Institute Awarded $1.5 Million for Stem Cell Training Program
The Buck Institute for Age Research has been awarded $1,571,229 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for a research training program in stems cells and aging.

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD Scholarships [Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Germany]

Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds PhD/Postdoc Short-Term Travel Awards [Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, Germany]

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Scheme [The Royal Society, United Kingdom]

The Royal Society International Joint Project Programme [The Royal Society, United Kingdom]

EMBO Fellowships [European Molecular Biology Organization, Germany]

EMBO Young Investigators [European Molecular Biology Organization, Germany]

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers [Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan]


Post-Election Budget Squeeze May Bring About Cuts in Health Research
Entire fields of health research are likely to be shut down if the next government cuts spending on medical science to reduce Britain’s £178 billion budget deficit. [Labour Party, United Kingdom]

Japan’s Science Budget Not as Bad as Feared
Japan’s researchers let loose a sigh of relief on December 25 when the new administration’s first budget revealed only minor changes in science and technology priorities. [Liberal Democratic Party, Japan]

French Research Wins Huge Cash Boost
Universities in France are set to receive an 11 billion Euro windfall from a government initiative intended to create an ‘Ivy League’ of research centers. [Union for a Popular Movement, France]

Advisory Committees; Tentative Schedule of Meetings for 2010 [Food and Drug Administration, United States]


CHI’s Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference 2010
February 3-5, 2010
San Francisco, United States

Keystone Symposia: Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation (B4)
February 15-20, 2010
Keystone, United States

17th Annual Conference of the American Society for Neural Therapy & Repair
April 29-May 1, 2010
Clearwater Beach, United States

2010 Canadian Neuroscience Meeting
May 15-18, 2010
Ottawa, Canada

ISSCR 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States



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