Volume 4.10 | Mar 17

Neural Cell News 4.10, March 17, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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University of California, Irvine Finishes Genome Vital to Improving People’s Health
Researchers found that the Hydra, which is less than a half-inch tall, has roughly as many genes as humans (about 24,000) and that some of its genes are linked to two of the most dreaded illnesses in humans – Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. [Press release from the Orange County Register discussing the online prepublication in Nature]



Molecule Tells Key Brain Cells to Grow Up, Get to Work
In a recent study, investigators found that a molecule known as miR-219 is found at high levels only in oligodendrocytes, and that it is both necessary and sufficient to induce their relatively undifferentiated precursors to become functioning adult cells. [Press release from The Stanford School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Neuron]

Computational Feat Speeds Finding of Genes to Milliseconds Instead of Years
Research by Stanford computer scientist Debashis Sahoo opens a powerful, mathematical route for conducting stem cell research and shows the power of interdisciplinary collaborations in science. It also demonstrates that using computers to mine existing databases can radically accelerate research in the laboratory. [Press release from The Stanford University School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

A Swiss Army Knife for Analyzing Three-Dimensional Images
The software package, called V3D, is being distributed free of charge to researchers worldwide and it promises to greatly speed up scientists’ ability to assemble and manipulate extremely detailed images, such as those of a fly’s brain. [Press release from The Howard Hughes Medical Institute discussing the online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology]

Pardon, Your Thoughts Are Showing
Researchers have successfully identified the memory a person is recalling by analyzing their brain activity. [Press release from ScienceInsider discussing the online prepublication in Current Biology]

Novel Stroke Treatment Passes Safety Stage of University of California, Irvine-Led Clinical Trial
A clinical research trial of a new treatment to restore brain cells damaged by stroke has passed an important safety stage, according to the University of California, Irvine neurologist who led the effort. [University of California, Irvine Press Release]


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The Dynamic Genome of Hydra
Comparisons of the Hydra genome to the genomes of other animals shed light on the evolution of epithelia, contractile tissues, developmentally regulated transcription factors, the Spemann-Mangold organizer, pluripotency genes and the neuromuscular junction. [Nature]

V3D Enables Real-Time 3D Visualization and Quantitative Analysis of Large-Scale Biological Image Data Sets
V3D-Neuron can precisely digitize the morphology of a single neuron in a fruit fly brain in minutes, with about a 17-fold improvement in reliability and 10-fold savings in time compared with other neuron reconstruction tools. [Nat Biotechnol]

Dicer1 and miR-219 are Required for Normal Oligodendrocyte Differentiation and Myelination 
To investigate the role of microRNAs in regulating oligodendrocyte (OL) differentiation and myelination, researchers utilized transgenic mice in which microRNA processing was disrupted in OL precursor cells and OLs by targeted deletion of Dicer1. [Neuron]

MicroRNA-Mediated Control of Oligodendrocyte Differentiation
To determine the role of miRNAs in the formation of myelinating oligodendrocytes, researchers selectively deleted a miRNA-processing enzyme, Dicer1, in oligodendrocyte lineage cells. [Neuron]

Decoding Neuronal Ensembles in the Human Hippocampus
By using multivariate pattern classification and high spatial resolution functional MRI, researchers decoded activity across the population of neurons in the human medial temporal lobe while participants navigated in a virtual reality environment. [Curr Biol]

MiDReG: A Method of Mining Developmentally Regulated Genes Using Boolean Implications
Researchers present a method termed mining developmentally regulated genes (MiDReG) to predict genes whose expression is either activated or repressed as precursor cells differentiate. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Mammalian Numb Interacting Protein1/Dual Oxidase Maturation Factor1 Directs Neuronal Fate in Stem Cells
This study reveals an important role for Numb-interacting Protein 1 (NIP1) in the guidance of neuronal differentiation through reactive oxygen species generation and modulation of intermediate filaments and implicates NIP1 as a novel intrinsic regulator of neuronal cell fate. [J Biol Chem]

Bio-Printing of Collagen and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-Releasing Fibrin Gel Scaffolds for Neural Stem Cell Culture
The presented method can be gainfully used in the development of three-dimensional artificial tissue assays and neural tissue regeneration applications. [Exp Neurol]

Intracellular Ca2+ Regulation During Neuronal Differentiation of Murine Embryonal Carcinoma and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
This study shows that both in embryonal carcinoma stem cells and adult mesenchymal stem cells intracellular Ca2+ concentration is controlled by a common pathway, indicating that coupling of L-type Ca2+ channels and ryanodine-sensitive receptors may be a conserved mechanism necessary for neuronal differentiation. [Stem Cells Dev]


Half a Million for Gene Sequencers
The 10th annual Albany Medical Center Prize – the U.S.’s biggest prize in biomedicine – will go to three scientists who conceptualized the Human Genome Project: Francis Collins, Eric Lander, and David Botstein. [ScienceInsider]

Brain Science Institute Announces License Agreement to Develop New Treatments for Neurological Disease
Johns Hopkins University’s newly formed Brain Science Institute’s NeuroTranslational Program has entered into a licensing agreement with pharmaceutical company Eisai Inc. to discover and develop small molecule glutamate carboxypeptidase II inhibitors. [Johns Hopkins University Press Release]


California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Allocates $50 Million for Stem Cell Therapy Development, a Boost for the State’s Growing Stem Cell Industry In a move that will speed the path of bringing stem cell-based therapies to the people of California, the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state stem cell agency created by Proposition 71, approved a concept proposal for funding the development of new stem cell therapies. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, United States]

Push to Cure Rare Diseases
Staff members at the Food and Drug Administration are doing something unusual. They are leaving Washington to help drug makers take a crucial step in developing drugs for rare diseases. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Government to Fund Research to Mix Neurological Data with Information Technology
South Korea will finance studies to merge neurological data with information technology that may be able to assist people with neurological disorders. [Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea]

Spain Turns to Science for Stimulus
Spain’s ministers recently approved the text of a new research law that aims to reward scientific talent and encourage entrepreneurship. [Science and Innovation Ministry, Spain]

Food and Drug Administration Transparency Task Force; Request for Comments [Docket No. FDA-2009-N-0247] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products: Establishment Registration and Listing; Form FDA 3356; Eligibility Determination for Donors; and Current Good Tissue Practice [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0101] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Technical Assistance for RFA-RM-10-006: Advancing Regulatory Science through Novel Research and Science-Based Technologies (U01) (NOT-RM-10-003) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Modification: This Notice Modifies RFA-RM-09-019 (NOT-RM-10-004) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Notice of a Change in the Next Receipt Date for the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence Program Announcement (PAR-09-079) (NOT-RR-10-005) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity for the Reissue of RFA-TW-08-002 the International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development Award (R25) (NOT-TW-10-326) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Collaborative Research for Molecular and Genomic Studies of Behavior in Animal Models (R01) (PA-10-125) [National Institutes of Health, 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

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



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