Volume 4.03 | Jan 27

Neural Cell News 4.03, January 27, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Compounds That Help Protect Nerve Cells Discovered by Duke Team
Scientists have found some compounds that improve a cell’s ability to properly “fold” proteins and could lead to promising drugs for degenerative nerve diseases, including Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. [Duke University Medical Center, Durham]



Babraham Scientists Find Survival Factor for Keeping Nerve Cells Healthy
Scientists have discovered a novel survival factor whose rapid transport along nerve cells is crucial for keeping them alive. [Babraham Institute, Cambridge]

Gene Therapy Study Seeks to Improve Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease researchers are testing the effectiveness of gene therapy for the first time to treat patients with this common brain disease. [Emory University, Atlanta]

Neuron Connections Seen in 3D
A team of researchers has managed to obtain 3D images of the vesicles and filaments involved in communication between neurons. [Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich]

Communication Problems in the Brain
For brain cells to communicate, the contacts to each other must function. The protein molecule neuroligin-1 plays an important role in this as it stimulates the necessary maturation processes at the contact sites (synapses) of the nerves. [Science Daily]



A Role for FKBP52 in Tau Protein Function
Findings indicate a role for FKBP52 in Tau function and may help to decipher and modulate the events involved in Tau-induced neurodegeneration. [P Natl Acad Sci USA]

Chondroitin Sulfates are Required for Fibroblast Growth Factor-2-dependent Proliferation and Maintenance in Neural Stem Cells and for Epidermal Growth Factor-Dependent Migration of Their Progeny
Scientists studied the consequences of chondroitin sulfate-deglycanation further and revealed that chondroitin sulfate glycosaminoglycans are selectively required for neurosphere formation, proliferation and self-renewal of embryonic cortical neural stem/progenitor cells in response to fibroblast growth factor-2. [Stem Cells]

Murine Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Pyramidal Neurons Integrate into the Cerebral Cortex and Appropriately Project Axons to Subcortical Targets
Investigators show that in vitro patterning is critical for generating neural precursor cells competent to form cortical pyramidal neurons. [J Neurosci]

Neural Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells at the Ultrastructural Level
The objective of this study was to correlate human embryonic stem cells to neural differentiation culture conditions with ultrastructural changes observed in the treated cells. [Microsc Microanal]

Linoleic Acid Derivative DCP-LA Protects Neurons from Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis by Inhibiting Caspase-3/-9 Activation
The present study is aimed at understanding the effect of the linoleic acid derivative 8-[2-(2-pentyl-cyclopropylmethyl)-cyclopropyl]-octanoic acid (DCP-LA) on oxidative stress-induced neuronal death. [Neurochem Res]

Neural Potential of a Stem Cell Population in the Adipose and Cutaneous Tissues
Researchers investigated multipotent stem cells’ neurogenic potential with regard to skin-derived precursors and adipose-derived stem cells. [Neurol Res]

Cloned Myogenic Cells Can Transdifferentiate In Vivo into Neuron-Like Cells
Researchers tested the capacity of cloned populations of mouse and human muscle progenitor cells, committed to the myogenic pathway, to transdifferentiate to neurons, following their inoculation into the developing brain of newborn mice. [PLoS ONE]



Venture Funding Stabilizes, Shifts to Biotech, Shuns Energy
Venture-capital funding for startup companies stabilized in the fourth quarter, with investor interest shifting toward drug development and away from clean energy. [Bloomberg Press Release]

Neuralstem Announces First Patient Treated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Stem Cell Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that the first amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient was treated with its spinal cord stem cells at the Emory ALS Center at Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. [Neuralstem, Inc. Press Release]

Living Cell Technologies Granted European Patent for Neurological Disease Product NTCELL
Living Cell Technologies announced that it has been granted a European patent for the use of its product NTCELL in the treatment of degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis , Huntington’s disease and Stroke. [Living Cell Technologies Limited Press Release]

Neurologix Gains Broadened U.S. Patent Protection for Its GAD-Based Gene Delivery System
Neurologix, Inc. announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has expanded the intellectual property protections enabled by a previously issued patent that is central to Neurologix’s Parkinson’s disease program. [Neurologix, Inc. Press Release]

The Automation Partnership Begins New Five Year Collaboration with Top Regenerative Medicine Centre Following an Injection of £5.3 Million from the United Kingdom Government
The Automation Partnership announced recently that its collaboration with leading translational research group, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine at Loughborough University is to continue into a second five year phase. [The Automation Partnership Press Release]

Scientific Breakthrough: Baltimore’s Bioparks Enjoy a Growth Spurt
Companies are taking more space in Baltimore’s two emerging biotechnology research centers; at least one firm is mulling a venture capital-backed funding round; and plans to expand the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s biopark are still on the table. [Baltimore Business Journal]


In Tough Economic Times, National Institutes of Health Head Looks to Clinic
As he puts together his budget proposal for the coming year, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins plans to do something a little different – emphasizing the “health” in the name of his U.S. agency. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Maryland Stem Cell Commission Gets 141 Applications for Grants
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has received 141 applications for $45 million in research grants, but only $12 million is available. [The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, United States]

National Institutes of Health Recommends Approval of Another Stem Cell Line
A National Institutes of Health advisory committee voted to recommend the first human embryonic stem cell line leftover from Bush administration to receive federal research funding. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Clarification on the Extended Error Correction Window and Format of the Research Strategy Section for Restructured Applications Intended for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2010 (NOT-OD-10-050) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

FY2010 Recovery Act Funding Announcements: Clarification on Page Limitations for Bibliography and References Cited Section (NOT-OD-10-051) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Clarification of SF424 (R&R) Application Instructions for Resubmissions of Revision and Renewal Applications (NOT-OD-10-052) [National Institutes of Health, 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

7th Forum of European Neuroscience
July 3-7, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

40th Annual Neuroscience 2010
November 13-17, 2010
San Diego, United States



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