Volume 4.28 | Jul 21

Neural Cell News 4.28, July 21, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY


Stem Cells to Aid Study of Parkinson’s  ShareThis
A new technique will use skin samples to grow the brain cells thought to be responsible for the onset of Parkinson’s disease, allowing these important neurons to be studied in detail. [Press release from Oxford University discussing research presented at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Meeting]

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SCIENCE NEWS


St. Jude Scientists Develop New Genomics-Based Approach to Understand the Origin of Cancer Subgroups
An international team led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has developed a new approach that uses genomic information from different species to understand the biology that drives the formation of these different cancer subtypes. [Press release from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Bright Stars of the Brain Regulate Breathing
Researchers demonstrate that brain astrocytes are able to sense the levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. They then activate brain neuronal respiratory networks to increase our breathing in accord with prevailing metabolism and activity. [Press release from University College London discussing online prepublication in Science]

Scientists Identify Critical Genes for Down Syndrome
A team of scientists were able to identify Olig1 and Olig2 as two genes specific to the critical region of chromosome 21 associated with Down syndrome by using a specifically-engineered modification of the golden standard Down syndrome mouse model, Ts65Dn. [Press release from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]

Blind Mice Can “See” Thanks To Special Retinal Cells
Biologists found that mice that didn’t have any rods and cones function could still see — and not just light, but also patterns and images — courtesy of special photosensitive cells in the rodents’ retinas. [Press release from Johns Hopkins University discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

New Discovery in Nerve Regrowth
In addition to discovering for the first time that PTEN is found in the peripheral nervous system, researchers demonstrated that following nerve injury, PTEN prevents peripheral nerves from regenerating. Researchers were able to block PTEN, an approach that dramatically increased nerve outgrowth. [Press release from the University of Calgary School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

Rescuing Fruit Flies from Alzheimer’s Disease
Investigators have found that fruit fly ( Drosophila melanogaster) males — in which the activity of an Alzheimer’s disease protein is reduced by 50 percent — show impairments in learning and memory as they age. [Press release from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

Four New Research Studies Describe Experimental Immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s
Four new research studies reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease 2010 describe experimental immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s, two of which target tau directly and two of which may reduce tau even though their primary target was beta amyloid. [Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease 2010 Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)


Cross-Species Genomics Matches Driver Mutations and Cell Compartments to Model Ependymoma
Understanding the biology that underlies histologically similar but molecularly distinct subgroups of cancer has proven difficult because their defining genetic alterations are often numerous, and the cellular origins of most cancers remain unknown. Researchers sought to decipher this heterogeneity by integrating matched genetic alterations and candidate cells of origin to generate accurate disease models. [Nature]

Astrocytes Control Breathing Through pH-Dependent Release of ATP
Researchers found that astrocytes of the brainstem chemoreceptor areas are highly chemosensitive. They responded to physiological decreases in pH with vigorous elevations in intracellular Ca2+ and release of ATP. [Science]

Olig1 and Olig2 Triplication Causes Developmental Brain Defects in Down Syndrome
Researchers discovered that Olig1 and Olig2 , two genes that are triplicated in Down syndrome and in Ts65Dn mice, were overexpressed in the Ts65Dn forebrain. [Nat Neurosci]

Network Mechanisms of Theta Related Neuronal Activity in Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons
Intracellular recordings support a particular abstract oscillatory interference model of hippocampal theta activity, the soma-dendrite interference model. To gain insight into the cellular and circuit level mechanisms of theta activity, researchers implemented a similar form of interference using the actual hippocampal network in mice in vitro. [Nat Neurosci]

Melanopsin-Expressing Retinal Ganglion-Cell Photoreceptors: Cellular Diversity and Role in Pattern Vision
Researchers report that intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells are more abundant and diverse than previously appreciated, project more widely within the brain, and can support spatial visual perception. [Neuron]

PTEN Inhibition to Facilitate Intrinsic Regenerative Outgrowth of Adult Peripheral Axons
Researchers investigated the role of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) during regeneration of peripheral neurons in adult Sprague Dawley rats. [J Neurosci]

Pharmacological and Genetic Reversal of Age-Dependent Cognitive Deficits Attributable to Decreased presenilin Function
Researchers tested the effect of reducing presenilin (psn) activity during aging in Drosophila melanogaster males, and found that flies in which the dosage of psn function is reduced by 50% display age-onset impairments in learning and memory. [J Neurosci]

INDUSTRY NEWS


Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. Encouraged by Clinical Trial Data in Relation to its Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Patents and Technology
Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. announced that it is pleased with the data presented on Bapineuzumab and Ponezumab (PF-04360365) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. [Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. Press Release]

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for KRX-0401 (Perifosine) for the Treatment of Neuroblastoma
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that KRX-0401 (perifosine) has received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of neuroblastoma. [Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Press Release]

QR Pharma’s Posiphen® Was Shown in a Clinical Mechanism of Action Study to Enter the Brain and to Inhibit Amyloid Precursor Protein
QR Pharma, Inc. presented a poster on positive clinical data from its recent mechanism of action study in mild cognitive impaired patients at the International Congress on Alzheimer’s Disease. [QR Pharma Press Release]

POLICY NEWS


House Panel Approves 3.2% Raise for NIH in 2011
A House of Representatives spending panel yesterday approved a $1 billion increase, to $32 billion, in the 2011 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). [National Institutes of Health, United States]

NIH Expands National Network for Transforming Clinical and Translational Research
Nine health research centers have received funds to develop ways to reduce the time it takes for clinical research to become treatments for patients. The funds were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program which is led by the National Center for Research Resources. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

FDA Weighs Rules for Consumer Genetic Tests
A high bar is likely to be set for companies seeking to sell genetic tests directly to consumers, according to top Food and Drug Administration officials. The agency is convening a two-day public hearing to discuss how it would regulate diagnostic tests, including direct-to-consumer tests. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Brussels to Invest $8.3 Billion in Research
Research organizations, universities, and industry will receive a sum of EUR6.4 billion next year in the European Commission’s largest ever allocation for research and innovation. [European Commission, European Union]

Ireland Keeps Light Shining on Science with New Spending
In a surprise move, the Irish government (which is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy) announced that it would inject EUR359 million into research. [Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions, Ireland]

Russian Researchers Call for Better Coordination of Science
More than 2200 researchers sent an open letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week asking the government to set Russian science in order and to consult with the scientific community when making major science-policy decisions. [Russia]

‘Game Over’ for British Science?
The Royal Society and the British Academy strongly warned the British government that looming cuts to science funding could be “irreversibly catastrophic for the future of U.K. science and economic growth” if they go too far. [The Royal Society and the British Academy, United Kingdom]

NIMH Announces Availability of Funds for Competitive Revision Applications for a Repository Supporting Stem Cell Research Relevant to Mental Disorders (U24) (NOT-MH-10-024) [National Institute of Mental Health, United States]

Alzheimers Disease Core Centers (P30) (RFA-AG-11-005) [National Institute on Aging, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications for Training in Computational Neuroscience: From Biology to Model and Back Again (T90) (NOT-DA-10-023) [National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications for Training in Neuroimaging: Integrating First Principles and Applications (T90) (NOT-DA-10-024) [National Institute on Drug Abuse, United States]

Epigenomic Modifications in Neurodevelopment (R01) (RFA-MH-11-030) [National Institute of Mental Health, United States]

Epigenomic Modifications in Neurodevelopment (R21) (RFA-MH-11-031) [National Institute of Mental Health, United States]

Informatics, Coordination and Service Center for the Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers (U42) (RFA-RR-10-006) [National Center for Research Resources, United States]

Clinical and Translational Science Coordinating Center (U54) (RFA-RR-10-007) [National Center for Research Resources, United States]

Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award (K12) (PAR-10-229) [National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, United States]


EVENTS (Listed by Date)


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

NEW Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

NEW BIOSPINE 3 – 3rd World Congress on Biotechnologies for Spinal Surgery
September 1-4, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

NEW International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT)-Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

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

NEW International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT) Congress
September 27-29, 2010
Doha, Qatar

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

NEW
18th Annual BioPartnering Europe
October 10-12, 2010
London, United Kingdom

NEW Institute for Genomic Medicine Inaugural Symposium
October 11-12, 2010
San Diego, United States

NEW 5th Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference
October 12-13, 2010
New York City, 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

NEW The American Society for Cell Biology 50th Annual Meeting
December 11-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

NEW Select Biosciences 5th Annual Stem Cells World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

NEW Phacilitate 7th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2011
January 24-26, 2011
Washington, DC, 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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