Volume 4.21 | Jun 2

Neural Cell News 4.21, June 2, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Distinct FGFs Promote Differentiation of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses
Here, researchers show that two members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, FGF22 and FGF7, promote the organization of excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic terminals, respectively, as target-derived presynaptic organizers. [Nature]

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SCIENCE NEWS


Binge Drinking Spiked Tang Damages Teenage Monkeys’ Brains
Researchers show that alcohol decreases the levels of stem cells in the brain, which may lower its ability to repair damage. [Press release from Nature: The Great Beyond discussing online publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Researchers Find Gene Linked to Birth Defects
An international group of researchers has identified the genetic cause of an inherited condition that causes severe foetal abnormalities. [Press release from the University of Leeds discussing online prepublication in Nature Genetics]

Key to Psychological Disorder May Lie in the Immune System
A type of cell that is known to protect the brain against infection could be involved in a form of psychological disorder, a new study reveals. [Press release from Nature News discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Learning Strategies are Associated with Distinct Neural Signatures
The process of learning requires the sophisticated ability to constantly update our expectations of future rewards so we may make accurate predictions about those rewards in the face of a changing environment. Although exactly how the brain orchestrates this process remains unclear, a new study suggests that a combination of two distinct learning strategies guides our behavior. [Press release from the California Institute of Technology discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

University of Alberta Discovery Offers Promising Research for Spinal-Cord Injury Treatments
University of Alberta researchers have made an important discovery that could lead to more effective treatments for the thousands of people who live with spinal-cord injuries in Canada. Researchers have identified one of the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms that kick in after injury. [Press release from the University of Alberta discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine]
 
Gene Causes Blue Light to Have a Banana Odor
Bochum scientists have succeeded to genetically modify Drosophila larvae allowing them to smell blue light. The research team can activate single receptor neurons out of 28 olfactory neurons in the larvae for this sensory perception. [Press release from Ruhr Universitat Bochum discussing online prepublication in Frontiers in Neuroscience Behavior]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)


Trans-Synaptic Interaction of GluR(delta)2 and Neurexin through Cbln1 Mediates Synapse Formation in the Cerebellum
Here, researchers show that the N-terminal domain of GluR(delta)2 interacts with presynaptic neurexins through cerebellin 1 precursor protein (Cbln1). [Cell]

Hematopoietic Origin of Pathological Grooming in Hoxb8 Mutant Mice
Here, researchers report that, in the brain, Hoxb8 cell lineage exclusively labels bone marrow-derived microglia. [Cell]

Two Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Pathways Are Essential for Polarized Trafficking of Presynaptic Components
Through forward genetic analysis in C. elegans, researchers identified a cyclin (CYY-1) and a cyclin-dependent Pctaire kinase (PCT-1) necessary for targeting presynaptic components to the axon. [Cell]

Caspase-3 Activation via Mitochondria Is Required for Long-Term Depression and AMPA Receptor Internalization
Researchers show that activation of caspase-3 via mitochondria is required for long-term depression and AMPA receptor internalization in hippocampal neurons. [Cell]

Mutations in TMEM216 Perturb Ciliogenesis and Cause Joubert, Meckel and Related Syndromes
Joubert syndrome, related disorders and Meckel syndrome are ciliopathies. Researchers now report that MKS2 and CORS2 (JBTS2) loci are allelic and caused by mutations in TMEM216, which encodes an uncharacterized tetraspan transmembrane protein. [Nat Genet]

Recovery of Motoneuron and Locomotor Function after Spinal Cord Injury Depends on Constitutive Activity in 5-HT2C Receptors
Researchers examine how over time motoneurons compensate for lost brainstem-derived serotonin (5-HT) to regain excitability. [Nat Med]

States versus Rewards: Dissociable Neural Prediction Error Signals Underlying Model-Based and Model-Free Reinforcement Learning
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in humans solving a probabilistic Markov decision task, researchers found the neural signature of a state prediction error in the intraparietal sulcus and lateral prefrontal cortex, in addition to the previously well-characterized reward prediction error in the ventral striatum. [Neuron]

Long-Lasting Reduction in Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Alcohol Consumption in Adolescent Nonhuman Primates
The purpose of the present study was to determine the deleterious effects of binge alcohol on hippocampal neurogenesis in adolescent nonhuman primates. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Control of Extracellular Dopamine at Dendrite and Axon Terminals
This study used electrochemical and electrophysiological methods to compare the time course and calcium dependence of somatodendritic dopamine release in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra pars compacta to that of axonal dopamine release in the dorsal striatum. [J Neurosci]

Optogenetically Induced Olfactory Stimulation in Drosophila Larvae Reveals the Neuronal Basis of Odor-Aversion Behavior
Olfactory stimulation induces an odor-guided crawling behavior of Drosophila melanogaster larvae characterized by either an attractive or a repellent reaction. In order to understand the underlying processes leading to these orientations, researchers stimulated single olfactory receptor neurons through photo-activation within an intact neuronal network. [Front Behav Neurosci]



INDUSTRY NEWS


StemCells, Inc. to Present at Two Investor Conferences in June
StemCells, Inc. announced that Chief Financial Officer Rodney Young will present at two upcoming investor conferences taking place in New York City. [Stemcells, Inc. Press Release]

Cloud Computing Aids Mental Illness, Ophthalmic Projects
Drug developers are beginning to put cloud computing and enterprise search capabilities to work for them. The tools are aiding development efforts by helping researchers and clinicians collaborate over distances. [FierceBiotech IT]

Multiple Sclerosis Therapies Reviewed by NeuroInvestment
NeuroInvestment has released its June issue, which reviews the status of therapeutics being developed for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. [Market Watch]

Scientist Who Helped Clone Dolly the Sheep and Biologist Who Discovered Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Speak at Cedars-Sinai Symposium
The conference, led by Clive Svendsen, Ph.D., and Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., will highlight the most recent developments in leading-edge stem cell research and treatments for brain and heart diseases. [Newswise]

Toxcure’s Neurotoxin Treatment for Cancer Gains U.S. Patent
Toxcure, LLC announced the grant of U.S. Patent No. 7,709,440, which provides Toxcure with intellectual property protection for a method of treating various tumors with neurotoxins. [Toxcure Press Release]

Techne Corporation Announces That Dr. Roeland Nusse Has Accepted a Seat on Its Board of Directors
Techne Corporation announced that Roeland Nusse, Ph.D. has accepted a position on the Techne Corporation Board of Directors and will also serve as a member of Techne’s Nominations and Governance Committee. Dr. Nusse’s past studies have involved the activity of proteins that determine cell fate during embryogenesis. His lab has also used purified proteins to manipulate the behavior of stem cells in culture, in particular neural stem cells. [Techne Corporation Press Release]

Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells to Unlock the Secrets of Motor Neuron Disease
The Motor Neurone Disease Association is funding its first ever stem cell research programme to help unlock the secrets of this fatal, neurological condition. [Motor Neurone Disease Association Press Release]

Q Therapeutics Collaborators at Johns Hopkins to Study Use of Neural Glial Cells in Treatment of Myelin Disorders
Q Therapeutics, Inc. announced that Piotr Walczak, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University has received notification of a $1,000,000 grant to be awarded by the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) which will enable further study of Q’s human neural glial cell product Q-Cells(R) in preclinical models of demyelinating disease. [Johns Hopkins University Newswire]



POLICY NEWS


Congress Considers Synthetic Biology Risks, Benefits
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the government is moving quickly to bring synthetic biology under review by two existing panels that have done a good job of monitoring cutting-edge research in the past. [U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States]

NIH Set to Tighten Financial Rules for Researchers
After a wave of financial scandals over the past few years involving biomedical researchers, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) proposed far-reaching changes that would lead to tighter oversight of agency-funded extramural investigators and their institutions. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed Meetings [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Novel NeuroAIDS Therapeutics: Integrated Preclinical/Clinical Program award (P01) (NOT-MH-10-017) [National Institute of Mental Health, United States]



EVENTS


The Future of Molecular Epidemiology: New Tools, Biomarkers, and Opportunities
June 6-9, 2010
Miami, United States

8th International Conference on Cell and Stem Cell Engineering
June 11-12, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

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

Translational Cancer Medicine 2010 – USA
July 11-14, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Select Biosciences 3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe Conference
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Joint Metastasis Research Society – American Association of Cancer Research Conference on Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment
September 12-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

4th American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development
September 27-30, 2010
Denver, United States

6th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair
October 1-4, 2010
Rostock, Germany

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
October 17-22, 2010
Boston, United States

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2010
November 13-17, 2010
San Diego, United States

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

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


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