Volume 4.30 | Aug 4

Neural Cell News 4.30, August 4, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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New Pathway to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases  ShareThis
Sanford-Burnham researchers uncover new clues about the cause of brain cell death in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases. [Press release from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell]

S NSCHuman_645x110_v01  
Culture human glioblastoma-derived tumorspheres
with NeuroCult®
*Piccirillo et al., Nature, 2006.
*Gallia et al., Mol Cancer Ther, 2009.
*McGillicuddy et al., Cancer Cell, 2009.
*Zheng et al., Cancer Cell, 2010.
STEMCELL Technologies Inc


In the ‘Neck’ of Time: Scientists Unravel Key Evolutionary Trait Leading to Better Brain Power
By deciphering the genetics in humans and fish, scientists now believe that the neck gave humans so much freedom of movement that it played a surprising and major role in the evolution of the human brain, according to Cornell and New York University neuroscientists. [Press release from Cornell University discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications]

Aging and Longevity Tied to Specific Brain Region in Mice
Research suggests that the brain, and particularly the hypothalamus, might play a dominant role in governing the pace of aging. Scientists believe their studies could eventually provide clues for increasing productive aging in people. [Press release from Washington University in St. Louis discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

Leap Forward in Efforts to Develop Treatments for Huntington’s Disease
Scientists at the Buck Institute for Age Research have discovered that a particular family of enzymes are involved in the breakdown of proteins that modify the production of toxic fragments that lead to the pathology of Huntington’s disease. [Press release from the Buck Institute for Age Research discussing online prepublication in Neuron]
Breaching the Blood-Brain Barrier To Create Powerful New Tools for Fighting Cancer
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are developing new technology for pushing drugs through the blood-brain barrier, directly targeting brain tumors. [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Press Release]

World’s First Demonstration of Successful Adult Brain Cell Re-Growth Confirmed at Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience
A research team at the University of Lethbridge’s Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience has confirmed — through extensive research and peer-reviewed testing — the world’s first successful example of brain cell re-growth in an adult mammal. [University of Lethbridge Press Release]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Ancestry of Motor Innervation to Pectoral Fin and Forelimb
In this paper, researchers present anatomical and embryological evidence showing that pectoral motoneurons also originate in the hindbrain among ray-finned fish. [Nat Commun]

Transnitrosylation of XIAP Regulates Caspase-Dependent Neuronal Cell Death
Here, researchers report that nitric oxide (NO) reacts with XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis) by S-nitrosylating its RING domain (forming SNO-XIAP), thereby inhibiting E3 ligase and antiapoptotic activity. [Mol Cell]

Matrix Metalloproteinases Are Modifiers of Huntingtin Proteolysis and Toxicity in Huntington’s Disease
Identifying critical proteases involved in huntingtin (Htt) proteolysis and toxicity using an unbiased approach has not been reported. To accomplish this, researchers designed a high-throughput western blot-based screen to examine the generation of the smallest N-terminal polyglutamine-containing Htt fragment. [Neuron]

Basal GABA Regulates GABA(B)R Conformation and Release Probability at Single Hippocampal Synapses
Here, researchers explored local presynaptic GABA(B) receptor [GABA(B)R] activation by integrating optical tools for monitoring receptor conformation and synaptic vesicle release at individual presynaptic boutons of hippocampal neurons. [Neuron]

Efficient Reprogramming of Adult Neural Stem Cells to Monocytes by Ectopic Expression of a Single Gene
Researchers report that adult neural stem cells can be reprogrammed at very high efficiency to monocytes, a differentiated fate of an unrelated somatic lineage, by ectopic expression of the Ets transcription factor PU.1. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

T-Type Channels Control the Opioidergic Descending Analgesia at the Low Threshold-Spiking GABAergic Neurons in the Periaqueductal Gray
Endogenous opioids generate analgesic signals in the periaqueductal gray (PAG). However, because cell types in the PAG are difficult to identify, its neuronal mechanism has remained poorly understood. To address this issue, researchers characterized PAG neurons by their electrical properties using differentially labeled GABAergic and output neurons in the PAG. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Distinct Subclasses of Medium Spiny Neurons Differentially Regulate Striatal Motor Behaviors
Here researchers present two mouse models in which the function of striatonigral or striatopallidal neurons is selectively disrupted due to cell type-specific deletion of the striatal signaling protein dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein Mr 32kDa (DARPP-32). [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

SIRT1 Promotes the Central Adaptive Response to Diet Restriction through Activation of the Dorsomedial and Lateral Nuclei of the Hypothalamus
Here researchers demonstrate that diet restriction significantly increases SIRT1 protein levels and induces neural activation in the dorsomedial and lateral hypothalamic nuclei. [J Neurosci]

Isolation of Locally Derived Stem/Progenitor Cells From the Peri-Infarct Area That Do Not Migrate From the Lateral Ventricle After Cortical Stroke
Researchers compared stem/progenitor cell responses after focal cortical strokes produced by distal middle cerebral artery occlusion and cortical/striatal strokes produced by the intraluminal suture model. [Stroke]

Histological and Functional Benefit Following Transplantation of Motor Neuron Progenitors to the Injured Rat Spinal Cord
In order to investigate the amenability of the injured adult spinal cord to motor neuron differentiation, researchers transplanted spinal cord injured animals with a high purity population of human motor neuron progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells. [PLoS ONE]


Repligen Receives Additional Research Grants to Support Development of HDAC Inhibitors for Friedreich’s Ataxia and Huntington’s Disease
Repligen Corporation announced that the Company has received three additional grants to support its research program to develop HDAC inhibitors for neurodegenerative diseases. [Repligen Corporation Press Release]

Geron to Proceed with First Human Clinical Trial of Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapy
Geron Corporation announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified the company that the clinical hold placed on Geron’s Investigational New Drug application has been lifted and the company’s Phase I clinical trial of GRNOPC1 in patients with acute spinal cord injury may proceed. [Geron Corporation Press Release]

Bionovo Announces Publication Describing Menerba’s Effect on Neural Pathways Related to Temperature Regulation
Bionovo, Inc. announced results from studies in neurons of its drug candidate Menerba for the treatment of menopausal hot flashes. [Bionovo, Inc. Press Release]


NSF Funding Request Faring Well in Congress
While the 2011 budget requests of other U.S. research agencies are struggling to stay afloat in choppy fiscal seas, so far National Science Foundation’s (NSF) is sailing through Congress largely intact. [National Science Foundation, United States]

Sanofi-aventis Said to Be Likely to Bid $18 Billion for Genzyme
Sanofi-aventis is likely to make an unsolicited offer of up to $70 a share for Genzyme, raising the stakes for what could become one of the year’s biggest deals, people briefed on the matter said. [The New York Times]

British Companies to Receive Support to Develop New Regenerative Medicine Products and Technologies
The government-backed Technology Strategy Board is to invest over £5 million to support the research and development in the UK of new regenerative medicine products, tools and technologies. 16 research and development projects in the field of regenerative medicine therapeutics are to receive a total of £3.6 million of investment, while a further £1.6 million is to be invested in 12 feasibility studies in the area of regenerative medicine tools and technologies. [Technology Strategy Board, United Kingdom]

Senate Spending Panel Approves $1 Billion Boost for NIH
A Senate subcommittee matched President Barack Obama’s request for a $1 billion increase in 2011 for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That raise would bring the agency’s total budget to $32 billion, or 3.5% above the 2010 level, according to a statement from the Senate appropriations labor, health, and human services subcommittee. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

NIH Takes on New Role in Fight Against Rare Diseases
A government program focusing on rare diseases, the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) program, has launched five pilot projects that are taking the National Institutes of Health in a new direction: developing drugs. TRND will work together with scientists, advocates and others to do the required research and testing on drugs before a compound can be tried in humans in a clinical trial. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (Doc. 2010-18627) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Office of the Director; Notice of Closed Meeting [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Meeting [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Request for Proposals (RFP): NIA Intervention Testing Program Solicits Proposals for Compounds to Test for Anti-Aging Activity in Mice (NOT-AG-10-008) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Viral and Host Genetic Factors Regulating HIV-Associated CNS Disease (R01) (RFA-MH-11-020) [National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, United States]

EVENTS (Listed by Date)

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

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

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

EMBO/EMBL Structures and Function of Neural Circuits
September 5-8, 2010
Heidelberg, Germany

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adult Neurogenesis
January 9-14, 2011
Taos, New Mexico

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

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

NEW Trends in Central Nervous System Malignancies
March 25-26, 2011
Bucharest, Romania

NEW Wiring the Brain: Making Connections
April 12-15, 2011
Powerscourt, Ireland

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


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