Volume 4.06 | Feb 16

Neural Cell News 4.06, February 16, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY


StemCells, Inc. Announces First Human Neural Stem Cell Transplant in Landmark Myelination Disorder Trial
StemCells, Inc. announced that its proprietary HuCNS-SC® human neural stem cells have been used to treat the first patient enrolled in its Phase I clinical trial in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease, a myelination disorder that afflicts male children. [StemCells, Inc. Press Release]


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SCIENCE NEWS


Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Not Yet Reliable for Clinical Use
A new study comparing the ability of induced cells and embryonic cells to morph into the cells of the brain has found that induced cells, even those free of the genetic factors used to program their all-purpose qualities, differentiate less efficiently and faithfully than their embryonic counterparts. [Press release from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]


Caltech Researchers Obtain First Brain Recordings from Behaving Fruit Flies
Researchers have obtained the first recordings of brain-cell activity in an actively flying fruit fly. [Press release from the California Institute of Technology discussing the online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]


Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Researchers Develop New Tool to Investigate Ion Channels – Application of Neurotoxins of Cone Snails and Spiders
Researchers have developed a system which for the first time allows the targeted, long-lasting investigation of ion channel function in mammals and also the blockade of the ion channels with neurotoxins. [Press release from Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Nature Method]


New Hope in Hunt for Ataxia Cure
Teams from the University of Melbourne and the Monash Institute of Medical Research have made pluripotent stem cells from the skin of Friedreich’s ataxia sufferers, which could provide a shortcut to a drug-based cure or even be used directly as a treatment. [The Age]


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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS


Regulation of Rap2A by the Ubiquitin Ligase Nedd4-1 Controls Neurite Development
In analyses of conventional and conditional Nedd4-1-deficient mice, researchers found that Nedd4-1 plays a critical role in dendrite formation. [Neuron]


Regulation of Neuronal Activity by Cav3-Kv4 Channel Signaling Complexes
Researchers found that T-type calcium channels and Kv4 channels form a signaling complex in rat that efficiently couples calcium influx to K+ channel-interacting proteins to modulate Kv4 function. [Neuron]


Active Flight Increases the Gain of Visual Motion Processing in Drosophila
Investigators developed a technique for performing whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from genetically identified neurons in behaving Drosophila. [Nat Neurosci]


Silencing Neurotransmission with Membrane-Tethered Toxins
Researchers show that membrane-tethered toxins allowed cell-autonomous blockade of each channel individually or simultaneously in mouse neurons in vivo. [Nat Methods]


Neural Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Follows Developmental Principles but with Variable Potency
Researchers have shown that human induced pluripotent stem cells use the same transcriptional network to generate neuroepithelia and functionally appropriate neuronal types over the same developmental time course as human embryonic stem cells in response to the same set of morphogens; however, they do it with significantly reduced efficiency and increased variability. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]


Signal Sequence Insufficiency Contributes to Neurodegeneration Caused by Transmembrane Prion Protein
Signal sequences are functionally nonequivalent in vivo, with intrinsic inefficiency of the native mammalian prion protein (PrP) signal being required for pathogenesis of a subset of disease-causing PrP mutations. [J Cell Biol]


Isolation and Propagation of Enteric Neural Crest Progenitor Cells from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and Embryos
Researchers exploited Sox10 reporter and selection markers created by homologous recombination to investigate the generation, maintenance and expansion of neural crest progenitors. [Development]


A 3-Dimensional Extracellular Matrix as a Delivery System for the Transplantation of Glioma-Targeting Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells
Researchers report the development of a 3-dimensional substrate that is based on extracellular matrix purified from tissue-engineered skin cultures. [Neuro Oncol]


The Role of Fibroblast Growth Factor-Signaling in Early Neural Specification of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Human neural induction is instructed by fibroblast growth factor-signaling, though neuralization of human embryonic stem cells can occur in its absence. [Dev Biol


Long-Term Observation of Auto-Cell Transplantation in Non-Human Primate Reveals Safety and Efficiency of Bone Marrow Stromal Cell-Derived Schwann Cells in Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Using a cynomolgus monkey peripheral nervous system injury model, researchers examined the safety and efficacy of Schwann cells induced from bone marrow stromal cells as a source for auto-cell transplantation therapy in nerve injury. [Exp Neurol]



INDUSTRY NEWS


McGovern Institute Honors Pioneers in Neurogenetics
The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced that Lily Jan and Yuh-Nung Jan will be the joint winners of the 2010 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Release]


Living Cell Technologies Awarded NZ$4.04 Million New Zealand Government Grant to Advance DIABECELL® for Type 1 Diabetes
Cell implant company Living Cell Technologies Limited announced that it has been awarded a grant of NZ$4.04 million from the New Zealand government’s Foundation for Research Science & Technology. [Living Cell Technologies Limited Press Release]


Athersys Receives United States Patent Covering Adult Stem Cell Composition & Production
Athersys, Inc. announced that it has been granted U.S. patent 7,659,118 that covers non-embryonic multipotent stem cells, their isolation and expansion, and related pharmaceutical compositions. [Athersys, Inc. Press Release]


£6 Million to be Invested in Further Regenerative Medicine Research and Development
The Technology Strategy Board is to invest a further £6 million in regenerative medicine research and development and has invited British companies to bid for funding through two new competitions. [Technology Strategy Board Press Release]


Clive Svendsen of Cedars-Sinai to Receive Amyothrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Award from American Academy of Neurology
Clive Svendsen, Ph.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, is receiving the American Academy of Neurology Sheila Essey Award for his research on amyothrophic lateral sclerosis. [Newswise]


Portland Development Commission Spends $800,000 for Bioscience ‘Wet Labs’
Oregon’s biotech community will soon have access to four wet labs, where early stage companies can test and analyze chemicals and drugs. [Portland Business Journal]



POLICY NEWS


Food and Drug Administration Budget Draws Cries of ‘Not Enough’
A coalition of interests will push for more money, saying chronic underfunding has led to failures at the agency and that society, not just companies, are affected. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]


Waivers for Conflicts of Interest for the February 22, 2010 Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (Parent F31) (PA-10-108) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 – Diversity) (PA-10-109) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (Parent F32) (PA-10-110) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (Parent F33) (PA-10-111) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Delays in Grant Application Submission due to Widespread Winter Storm (NOT-OD-10-061) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Recovery Act Limited Competition: Program to Enhance National Institutes of Health-Supported Global Health Research Involving Human Subjects (S07) (RFA-OD-10-006) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


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


Notice of Intent to Establish a New National Institutes of Health Common Fund Program: Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) (NOT-RM-10-002) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Notice of Availability of Administrative Supplements for R25 Science Education Grants (NOT-DA-10-007) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Investigator Initiated Multi-Site Clinical Trials (Collaborative R01) (PAR-10-096) [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 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]


Expressions of Interest for Membership of the Therapeutic Goods Committee [Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia]



EVENTS


American Society for Neurochemistry (ASN) 41st Annual Meeting
March 6-10, 2010
Santa Fe, United States


American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010
April 17-21, 2010
Washington, DC, 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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