Volume 4.04 | Feb 3

Neural Cell News 4.04, February 3, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Dramatic Transformation: Researchers Directly Turn Mouse Skin Cells into Neurons, Skipping Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Stage
Scientists have succeeded in the ultimate switch: transforming mouse skin cells in a laboratory dish directly into functional nerve cells with the application of just three genes. [Press release from the Stanford University School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in the Journal Nature]



Uncorrelated Activity in Brain Helps Function
In the past, scientists believed that adjacent neurons synchronized their action potentials. However, researchers said in a current report that this synchronization does not happen. [Press release from Baylor College of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Science]

New Form of Stem Cell Communication Rescues Diseased Neurons
Investigators have demonstrated in mouse models that transplanted stem cells, when in direct contact with diseased neurons, send signals through specialized channels that rescue the neurons from death. [Press release from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Double Agent: Glial Cells can Protect or Kill Neurons, Vision
Scientists have identified a double agent in the eye that, once triggered, can morph from neuron protector to neuron killer. [Press release from Université de Montreal discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

To Restore Vision, Implant Preps and Seeds a Damaged Eye
Researchers trying to restore vision damaged by disease have found promise in a tiny implant that sows seeds of new cells in the eye. [Press release from Case Western Reserve University discussing the online prepublication in Biomaterials]

How to Shoot the Messenger
Scientists have now found a way to hack into a vital communications system, raising the possibility of developing new drugs to tackle disorders like neurodegeneration, cancer and cardiovascular disease. [Press release from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory discussing the online prepublication in Science Signaling]

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Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts to Functional Neurons by Defined Factors
Starting from a pool of nineteen candidate genes, researchers identified a combination of only three factors, Ascl1, Brn2 (also called Pou3f2) and Myt1l, that suffice to rapidly and efficiently convert mouse embryonic and postnatal fibroblasts into functional neurons in vitro. [Nature]

A Nerve Growth Factor-Responsive Element Targets Myo-Inositol Monophosphatase-1 mRNA to Sympathetic Neuron Axons
To identify mRNAs localized in subcellular compartments of developing neurons, researchers took an original approach that combines compartmentalized cultures of rat sympathetic neurons and sequential analysis of gene expression. [Nat Neurosci]

In Vitro and In Vivo Enhanced Generation of Human A9 Dopamine Neurons from Neural Stem Cells by Bcl-XL
Using the model cell line hVM1 [a new human fetal ventral mesencephalon (VM) stem cell line] researchers have found that Bcl-XL enhances the generation of dopaminergic neurons from VM human neural stem cells. [J Biol Chem]

Identification of Stem Cell Transcriptional Programs Normally Expressed in Embryonic and Neural Stem Cells in Alloreactive CD8+ T Cells Mediating Graft-Versus-Host Disease
Using mouse graft-versus-host-disease models, researchers demonstrate that alloreactive CD8+ TE rapidly diminished in vivo when adoptively transferred into irradiated secondary congenic recipient mice. [Biol Blood Marrow Transplant]

Stereological Analysis on Migration of Human Neural Stem Cells in the Brain of Rats Bearing Glioma
Researchers identified for the first time the rate and pattern of neural stem cell migration to the tumor mass in vivo. [Neurosurgery]

Use of Chitosan Conduit Combined with Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Promoting Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
The goal of this study was to develop and test chitosan conduit to use in peripheral nerve reconstruction, either alone or combined with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. [J Mater Sci Mater Med]



T. Denny Sanford Donates $50 Million to Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Burnham Institute for Medical Research announced that philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has pledged $50 million to support and further expand and accelerate the Institute’s leading-edge medical research. [Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research Press Release]

Clinical Advisory Board Appointments
ReNeuron Group plc recently announced the appointment of four opinion-leading clinicians to its newly-established Clinical Advisory Board for its ReN009 stem cell therapy for peripheral arterial disease. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

ReNeuron Regulatory Update
ReNeuron Group plc provides a regulatory update regarding its ReN001 stem cell therapy for stroke. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

£5M Funding Partnership to Bring New Innovation and Economic Benefit to United Kingdom
A £5M development at the Norwich Research Park, funded by a partnership including the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council will provide facilities for start-up and growing businesses that will turn world-class science into products and technologies. [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Press Release]

Project A.L.S. and Packard Center Take Aim at Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with $15 Million Program
Project A.L.S. and the Robert Packard Center for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Research at Johns Hopkins University announced that they will partner on P2 ALS, a $15 million initiative designed to advance ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research exponentially over the next three years. [Project A.L.S. Press Release]


Small Business Matching Grant Program
The primary objective of the Small Business Matching Grant Program is to provide grants to commercialization-ready life sciences and technology companies that have received at least the equivalent of a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grant from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, etc. [Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, United States]

The Neurological Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration; Notice of Meeting [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

2009 Meeting Materials, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee – December 15, 2009 Meeting Transcript Posted [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

National Institutes of Health Approves Wisconsin H1 Stem Cell Line for Continued Use in Federally Funded Research
Recently, the National Institutes of Health officially approved the H1, also known as the WA1 line, for continued use in research funded by the U.S. government and added it to the National Stem Cell Registry. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

UPDATE TO RFA-OD-10-001: ARRAOS Recovery Act Limited Competition: Behavioral Economics for Nudging the Implementation of Comparative Effectiveness Research: Clinical Trials (RC4) – Announcement of Additional Funds Availability and Increased Allowable Total Costs (NOT-OD-10-053) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) (RFA-RM-10-001) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Neurotechnology Research, Development, and Enhancement – [SBIR (R43/R44)] [Small Business Innovation Research, United States]

Neurotechnology Research, Development, and Enhancement – [STTR (R41/R42)] [Small Business Technology Transfer, 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 (ASNTR)
April 29-May 1, 2010
Clearwater Beach, United States

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

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

BIT’s 1st World Congress of NeuroTalk – 2010
June 25-28, 2010
Singapore, Singapore

7th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of European Neuroscience
July 3-7, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2010
November 13-17, 2010
San Diego, United States



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Research & Development Scientist – Endothelial Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research & Development Scientist – Epithelial Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies)

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