Volume 4.08 | Mar 3

Neural Cell News 4.08, March 3, 2010
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Gene Therapy Reverses Effects of Lethal Childhood Muscle Disorder in Mice
Reversing a protein deficiency through gene therapy can correct motor function, restore nerve signals and improve survival in mice that serve as a model for the lethal childhood disorder spinal muscular atrophy, new research shows. [Press release from Ohio State University discussing the online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology]



Implanted Neurons Let the Brain Rewire Itself Again
Transplanting fetal neurons into the brains of young mice opens a new window on neural plasticity, or flexibility in the brain’s neural circuits. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing the online prepublication in Science]

University of Texas Health Science Center Research Shows Modified Adult Stem Cells May Be Helpful in Spinal Cord Injury
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center have demonstrated in rats that transplanting genetically modified adult stem cells into an injured spinal cord can help restore the electrical pathways associated with movement. [Press release from the University of Texas Health Science Center discussing the online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]



Neurogenic Radial Glia in the Outer Subventricular Zone of Human Neocortex
Researchers show that large numbers of radial glia-like cells and intermediate progenitor cells populate the human outer region subventricular zone. [Nature]

Cortical Plasticity Induced by Inhibitory Neuron Transplantation
Findings suggest that ocular dominance plasticity is regulated by the execution of a maturational program intrinsic to inhibitory neurons. [Science]

Rescue of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Phenotype in a Mouse Model by Early Postnatal Delivery of Survival Motor Neuron
This demonstration that self-complementary adeno-associated virus 9 (scAAV9) traverses the blood-brain barrier in a nonhuman primate emphasizes the clinical potential of scAAV9 gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy. [Nat Biotechnol]

The Immune Protein CD3(Zeta) is Required for Normal Development of Neural Circuits in the Retina
These results provide direct evidence of an unrecognized requirement for immune proteins in the developmental regulation of retinal ganglion cell synaptic wiring and indicate a possible retinal origin for the disruption of eye-specific segregation found in immune-deficient mice. [Neuron]

Spike-Time-Dependent Plasticity and Heterosynaptic Competition Organize Networks to Produce Long Scale-Free Sequences of Neural Activity
Heterosynaptic competition within single neurons, when combined with spike-time-dependent plasticity, organizes networks to generate long unary activity sequences even without sequential training inputs. [Neuron]

Dynamic Transcriptomes During Neural Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Revealed by Short, Long, and Paired-End Sequencing
To examine the fundamental mechanisms governing neural differentiation, researchers analyzed the transcriptome changes that occur during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into the neural lineage. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Cyclosporin A Has Direct Effects on Adult Neural Precursor Cells
Researchers examined the effects of cyclosporin A, a commonly used immunosuppressive molecule, on neural precursor cell proliferation kinetics, survival, and fate using in vitro assays at the population level and at the single-cell level. [J Neurosci]

Transplantation of Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor-Expressing Adult Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells Promotes Remyelination and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury
Researchers explored whether the combination of neurotrophic factors and transplantation of adult rat spinal cord oligodendrocyte precursor cells could enhance remyelination and functional recovery after spinal cord injury. [J Neurosci ]


Merck KGaA and Millipore Announce Transaction
Merck KGaA and Millipore Corporation recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck KGaA will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Millipore, for US$107 per share in cash, or a total transaction value, including net debt, of approximately US$7.2 billion. [Merck KGaA Press Release]

Startup Joins University of California, Los Angeles Tech Incubator to Develop Technologies for Drug Discovery, Screening
Librede Inc. has joined the University of California, Los Angeles on-campus technology incubator space at the California NanoSystems Institute, where the startup company will work on developing technologies to improve ion channel drug discovery and screening. [California NanoSystems Institute Press Release]

Millipore Corporation Confirms It is Evaluating Strategic Alternatives
Millipore Corporation confirmed that its Board of Directors is evaluating strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including by pursuing a process with potential bidders to explore a possible merger or sale of the Company. [Millipore Corporation Press Release]

Celgene Opens European Research & Development Hub for Translational Science The collaboration’s main objective is to minimize the gap between basic scientific research and clinical results, so that patients benefit sooner from laboratory discoveries. [New Statesman]


National Institutes of Health Director Goes Shopping
Francis Collins, the new leader of National Institutes of Health, announced that he will spend more than $200 million out of the Common Fund over the next five years on seven programmes in areas ranging from global health to how to speed therapies to the clinic. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Awards $6.6 Million Grant for Next Phase of Development at Gateway Park
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors recently awarded a $6.6 million grant to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to support the next phase of life sciences related development at Gateway Park in Worcester. [The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Press Release]

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Launches 2010 Accelerator Program for Early-Stage Companies
The primary objective of the Accelerator Loan Program is to provide working capital to early stage life sciences companies that still are in the process of further developing their science/technology and have not yet raised more than $5 million in equity financing. [Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation, 9226-9227 [FDA-2010-N-0066] [Food and Drug Administration, 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]

Notice from the John E. Fogarty International Center with Corrections Made to PAR-10-065: Independent Scientist in Global Health Award (ISGHA) (K02) (NOT-TW-10-002) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Advancing Regulatory Science through Novel Research and Science-Based Technologies (U01) (RFA-RM-10-006) [National Institutes of Health, 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]

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]


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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