Volume 4.11 | Mar 24

Neural Cell News 4.11, March 24, 2010
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Immune Cells as Possible Nerve-Cell Killers in Alzheimer’s Disease
An international team under the leadership of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen has now shown that Microglia cells may actually make a significant contribution to the loss of neurons associated with Alzheimer’s disease. [Press release from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]



Stanford Advances Vastly Expand Versatility of Optogenetics Brain-Research Technique
Recently, brain researchers have gained a powerful new way to troubleshoot neural circuits associated with depression, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions in small animals such as rats. [Press release from Stanford University discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Nanodiamond Monolayer Coatings Promote Formation of Functional Neuronal Networks
Researchers in London have found that nanometer size diamonds can be attached to a wide range of substrates and that they can promote the growth of neurons without the need for the complex layers of proteins normally required. [Press release from the London Centre for Nanotechnology discussing online prepublication in Biomaterials]



Molecular and Cellular Approaches for Diversifying and Extending Optogenetics
Researchers show that application of molecular trafficking principles can expand the optogenetic repertoire along several long-sought dimensions. [Cell]

Microglial Cx3cr1 Knockout Prevents Neuron Loss in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Two-photon in vivo imaging of neuron loss in the intact brain of living Alzheimer’s disease mice revealed an involvement of microglia in neuron elimination, indicated by locally increased number and migration velocity of microglia around lost neurons. [Nat Neurosci]

Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a Maintain DNA Methylation and Regulate Synaptic Function in Adult Forebrain Neurons
Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a are required for synaptic plasticity, learning and memory through their overlapping roles in maintaining DNA methylation and modulating neuronal gene expression in adult central nervous system neurons. [Nat Neurosci]

Monitoring Neural Activity with Bioluminescence During Natural Behavior
Researchers used bioluminescence to non-invasively monitor the activity of genetically specified neurons in freely behaving zebrafish. [Nat Neurosci]

The Use of Nanodiamond Monolayer Coatings to Promote the Formation of Functional Neuronal Networks
Nanodiamond layering provides an excellent growth substrate on various materials for functional neuronal networks and bypasses the necessity of protein coating, which promises great potential for chronic medical implants. [Biomaterials]

Mammalian Numb Interacting Protein1/Dual Oxidase Maturation Factor1 Directs Neuronal Fate in Stem Cells
In this study, researchers describe a role for the mammalian Numb-interacting protein 1 in regulation of neuronal differentiation in stem cells. [J Biol Chem]

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 [human ventral mesencephalic (VM) neural stem cell line 1; a new human fetal 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]

Ternary Complex Formation of EphA4, FGFR and FRS2(Alpha) Plays an Important Role in the Proliferation of Embryonic Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells
These results suggest the formation of a ternary complex comprising EphA4, FGFR and FRS2(alpha). The signaling complex appears to integrate the input from FGFR and EphA4, and release the output signal through FRS2(alpha). [Genes Cells]

Conditional Deletion of Stat3 Promotes Neurogenesis and Inhibits Astrogliogenesis in Neural Stem Cells
To investigate the overall effects of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) on neural stem cell (NSC) fate, NSC were isolated from Stat3(flox/flox) mouse embryos (E14-15d), in which both Stat3 alleles are flanked by LoxP sites. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun]


ReNeuron Signs Further Stem Cell Manufacturing Contracts with Angel Biotechnology for Stroke Clinical Trial
ReNeuron Group plc announced that it has signed two further clinical-grade stem cell manufacturing contracts with Angel Biotechnology Holdings plc, in support of ReNeuron’s recently approved first-in-man clinical trial with its ReN001 stem cell therapy for stroke patients. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

ReNeuron Cited as a Regenerative Medicine Leader in United Kingdom Government
ReNeuron Group plc is pleased to learn that it has been cited as a United Kingdom (UK)-based world leader in regenerative medicine in a new publication by the UK Government. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and AstraZeneca Working Together to Find New Therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease
The University of Pennsylvania and AstraZeneca announced a new collaborative research agreement to make use of their respective talents and resources in an effort to bridge the transition from drug discovery to development. [University of Pennsylvania Press Release]

Acclaimed Alzheimer’s Clinician-Researcher to Head Methodist Neurological Institute Alzheimer’s Disease Center
Gustavo C. Román, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in vascular dementia, joins the Methodist Neurological Institute to continue the quest to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. [Methodist Neurological Institute Press Release]

Organovo Names Marie Csete Executive Vice President of Research and Development
Organovo, Inc. announced the appointment of Marie Csete, M.D., Ph.D., as Executive Vice President of Research and Development. [Organovo, Inc. Press Release]


Carl Wieman Chosen for White House Science Post Physicist Carl Wieman has been picked to be associate director for science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. [Office of Science and Technology Policy, United States]

Japan Maps Out Big Science Plans
For the first time ever, Japanese scientists have produced a roadmap of where they see major research programs heading in the mid-term, about 10 years out, and a list of large-scale facilities they will need to get there. [Science Council of Japan, Japan]

Instructions for Completion and Peer Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section in NIH Grant Applications and Cooperative Agreements (NOT-OD-10-027) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Recovery Act: Update on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Quarterly Reporting Requirements for Non-Competing Continuation Awards and Relinquished Projects; and Guidance to Avoid Common Errors (NOT-OD-10-065) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Recovery Act: Reminders on Annual Reporting Requirements and Notice of Revised Financial Closeout Requirements for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded Administrative Supplements and Competitive Revisions (NOT-OD-10-066) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Recovery Act: Notice on the Proper Management of Recovery Act Spending to Promote Job Creation and Increase the Pace of Scientific Research; and Policy Limiting Second No-Cost Extensions to Recovery Act Grants (NOT-OD-10-067) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Request for Comments on Proposed NIH, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Center of Disease Control Process Change for Electronic Submission of Grant Applications (NOT-OD-10-068) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Amended NIH Policy on Submission of Late Grant Application Materials Prior to Initial Peer Review (NOT-OD-10-070) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Modification: This Notice Modifies RFA-RM-10-001 (NOT-RM-10-005) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Modification to RFA-RM-09-019: Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) (NOT-RM-10-006) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Tissue Reference Group: TRG Annual Report FY 2009 Update [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]

April 12, 2010: Blood Products Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, 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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