Volume 4.07 | Feb 23

Neural Cell News 4.07, February 23, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY


How Nerve Cells Grow
Brain researcher Hiroshi Kawabe has discovered the workings of a process that had been completely overlooked until now, and that allows nerve cells in the brain to grow and form complex networks. [Press release from Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science discussing the online prepublication in Neuron]


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SCIENCE NEWS


New Transistors Mimic Human Brain’s Synapses
A new transistor designed to mimic structures in the human brain could pave the way for increasingly efficient computer systems that “think” like humans, scientists say. [Press release from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]


Ion Channels Traditionally Thought to Work Independently Actually Work in Sync
Brain cells communicate with each other by firing electrical impulses, which in turn rely upon special ion channels that are positioned at strategic locations in their membranes. [Press release from the University of Calgary discussing the online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]


Gene Defect for Degenerative Disease Discovered
Researchers have found the cause of a hitherto mysterious disorder causing degeneration of motor nerves that leads to severe muscle wasting in the limbs. [Press release from the University of Sydney discussing the online prepublication in the American Journal of Human Genetics]


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Neuroscientists Unveil Molecular Pathway Involved with Huntington’s Disease
Researchers have discovered new molecular changes in the brains of individuals with Huntington’s disease, a genetic disorder that leads to neuronal loss accompanied by unwanted movements, psychiatric symptoms, and eventual death. [Press release from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discussing the online prepublication in Human Molecular Genetics]


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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS


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


Membrane Potential Dynamics of GABAergic Neurons in the Barrel Cortex of Behaving Mice
Through single and dual whole-cell recordings combined with two-photon microscopy in the barrel cortex of behaving mice, researchers directly compare the synaptically driven membrane potential dynamics of inhibitory and excitatory layer 2/3 neurons. [Neuron]


Critical Period Plasticity is Disrupted in the Barrel Cortex of Fmr1 Knockout Mice
Fragile X mental retardation protein is required for the normal developmental progression of synaptic maturation, and loss of this important RNA binding protein impacts the timing of the critical period for layer IV synaptic plasticity. [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. [Nature Neuroscience]


Missense Mutations in the Copper Transporter Gene ATP7A Cause X-Linked Distal Hereditary Motor Neuropathy
Researchers identified two unique ATP7A missense mutations (p.P1386S and p.T994I) in males with distal motor neuropathy in two families. [Am J Hum Genet]


Neural Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Follows Developmental Principles but with Variable Potency
Investigators show 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]


CalDAG-GEFI Down-Regulation in the Striatum as a Neuroprotective Change in Huntington’s Disease
Findings suggest that the striking down-regulation of CalDAG-GEFI in Huntington’s disease could be a protective mechanism that mitigates huntingtin protein-induced degeneration. [Hum Mol Genet]


Neuropotent Self-Renewing Neural Stem Cells Derived from Mouse Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Neural stem cells from induced pluripotent stem cells that were previously derived from mouse fibroblasts cells exhibit long-term expansion and express markers of neurogenic radial glia. [Mol Cell Neurosci]


Effects of Kir2.1 Gene Transfection in Cochlear Hair Cells and Application of Neurotrophic Factors on Survival and Neurite Growth of Co-Cultured Cochlear Spiral Ganglion Neurons
Spiral ganglion neurons were co-cultured with organ of Corti in which a Kir2.1 channel was over-expressed in an attempt to block the spontaneous activity of immature inner hair cells. [Mol Cell Neurosci]


Cytoplasmic p53 and Activated Bax Regulate p53-Dependent, Transcription-Independent Neural Precursor Cell Apoptosis
To further characterize the mechanism by which p53 regulates neural precursor cell (NPC) death, researchers used primary cerebellar NPCs derived from wild-type, p53-deficient, and Bax-deficient neonatal mice and the mouse cerebellar neural stem cell line, C17.2. [J Histochem Cytochem]



INDUSTRY NEWS


Thermo Fisher Said to Offer $6 Billion for Millipore
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. made an unsolicited takeover offer of about $6 billion for Millipore Corp., according to a person close to the situation. [Bloomberg Business Week]


National Institutes of Health Grant Funds Study on Stem Cells from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patients
A two-year $3.7 million stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Johns Hopkins neurologist and lead researcher Jeffrey Rothstein to expand on his long-standing research into the nerve- and muscle-wasting disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [Johns Hopkins University Press Release]


Neuralstem Completes $5.25 Million Financing
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that it has raised a total of $5,228,000 since the beginning of the year, comprised of a previously disclosed $1.5 million private placement of 646,551 common shares at $2.32, priced at a 30 percent premium over the market on the closing, and approximately $3.7 million from warrant exercises. [Neuralstem, Inc. Press Release]


ReNeuron and Schepens Eye Research Institute Receive Unrestricted Industrial Grant to Support United States Retinal Stem Cell Collaboration
ReNeuron Group plc announces that its ongoing United States collaboration with the Schepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard Medical School will benefit from an unrestricted grant to advance retinal research at Schepens from a leading United States specialty healthcare company. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]


University of California, San Francisco Enters Drug Discovery Agreement with Genentech
The University of California, San Francisco has signed a partnership agreement with Genentech, Inc., a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, to discover and develop drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases. [University of California, San Francisco Press Release]


BrainStorm Secures Funding to Conduct Clinical Trials
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into agreements with three investors with each investing $500,000 for a total investment of $1.5 million into BrainStorm. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. Press Release]


BrainStorm Enters Into Collaborative Agreement with Hadassah to Conduct Clinical Trials
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with Hadassah Medical Center to conduct its amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical trials at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. Press Release]


University of Minnesota Awarded $8.6 Million Contract to Manufacture Stem Cell Therapies
The University of Minnesota has been awarded an $8.6 million contract to speed the development of novel stem cell and immune cell-based therapies from the laboratory to clinical trials. [University of Minnesota Press Release]


Miami Valley Hospital, Wright State to Open Neuroscience Institute
The institute will aid patients with a variety of neurological disorders and will attract funding for advanced biomedical research. [Dayton Business Journal]



POLICY NEWS


Indian Council of Medical Research to Set Up Apex Committee to Regulate Stem Cell Research
The Indian Council of Medical Research said recently it would soon set up a body to regulate the scientific community on the crucial health research of stem cell therapy. [Indian Council of Medical Research, India]


Study Finds Stem Cell Research in the State of Maryland Supports More than 500 Local Jobs and Facilitates $71.3 Million in Business Sales Annually
A recent third party economic development impact study conducted by Sage Policy Group, Inc., entitled “Economic Benefits of Maryland’s Stem Cell Program already Apparent,” found that Maryland’s Stem Cell Research Fund supports 514 local jobs, with an average salary of $64,000, and facilitates $71.3 million in business sales in the state. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, United States]


National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Gamete Donors
Investigators argue that dispositional authorization after disclosure regarding human embryonic stem cell research should be obtained from third-party gamete donors, but that the requirements may be more flexible and less complex than for informed consent. [National Institutes of Health, United States]


United States “Tweaks” Stem Cell Policy
The U.S. government broadened the definition of a human embryonic stem cell on Friday, helping qualify several corporate and academic experiments for federal funding. [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Health and Human Services Announces New Partnership Between the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration [Health and Human Services, United States]


2010 Meeting Materials, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee – Draft Agenda, Member Roster [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Review Considerations for Applications and Awards under the New National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research (NOT-OD-10-056) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


UPDATE TO RFA-OD-10-009: OS Recovery Act Limited Competition: Methodology Development in Comparative Effectiveness Research (RC4) Announcement of Non-Applicability of Requirement to Attend Meetings (NOT-OD-10-062) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Delays in Grant Application Submission to AHRQ due to Recent Winter Storm (NOT-HS-10-013) [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]


Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (Parent F30) (PA-10-107) [National Institutes of Health, 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]


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]

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]


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Will Provide Limited Supplemental Support to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Medical Scientist Training Program in FY 2010 (NOT-HL-11-103) [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, United States]


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