Volume 5.01 | Jan 12

Neural Cell News 5.01, January 12, 2011.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Researchers Publish Findings That May Have Significant Implications for Brain Repair and Abnormal Brain Development  ShareThis
Researchers have shown for the first time that neural stem cells maintain high levels of reactive oxygen species to help regulate normal self-renewal and differentiation. [Press release from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]



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New UCLA-Designed Microscope Records Firing of Thousands of Individual Neurons in 3-D
UCLA neuroscientists have collaborated with physicists to develop a non-invasive, ultra-high-speed microscope that can record in real time the firing of thousands of individual neurons in the brain as they communicate, or miscommunicate, with each other. [Press release from the University of California, Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in Nature Methods]

Geron Announces Publication Demonstrating Activity of Imetelstat Against Cancer Stem Cells from Pediatric Neural Tumors
Geron Corporation announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating that the company’s telomerase inhibitor drug, imetelstat (GRN163L), currently in Phase 2 clinical trials, selectively targets cancer stem cells in pediatric tumors of neural origin. [Press release from Geron Corporation discussing online prepublication in Clinical Cancer Research]

Team Develops Groundbreaking Technology to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists have developed a novel technology that is able to detect the presence of immune molecules specific to Alzheimer’s disease in patients’ blood samples. [Press release from The Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Study Reveals Unexpected Mechanism of New Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
In September, patients suffering from multiple sclerosis received the welcome news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved a promising new drug for their condition called Gilenya. Now, a team from The Scripps Research Institute has discovered that this drug’s success may involve an unexpected biological mechanism acting within the central nervous system. [Press release from The Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

Scientists Shed Light on What Causes Brain Cell Death in Parkinson’s Patients
Researchers demystified a process that leads to the death of neurons in Parkinson’s patients. When researchers blocked the process, the neurons survived. [Press release from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Neuroscience]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Reversing Pathological Neural Activity Using Targeted Plasticity
Here researchers report evidence that reversing the brain changes responsible can eliminate the perceptual impairment in an animal model of noise-induced tinnitus. [Nature]

Identification of Candidate IgG Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease via Combinatorial Library Screening
Researchers present here a general and unbiased approach to the identification of diagnostically useful antibodies that avoids the requirement for antigen identification. This method involves the comparative screening of combinatorial libraries of unnatural, synthetic molecules against serum samples obtained from cases and controls. [Cell]

Proliferative Neural Stem Cells Have High Endogenous ROS Levels That Regulate Self-Renewal and Neurogenesis in a PI3K/Akt-Dependant Manner
Researchers investigated reactive oxygen species (ROS) function in primary brain-derived neural progenitors. Somewhat surprisingly, they found that proliferative, self-renewing multipotent neural progenitors with the phenotypic characteristics of neural stem cells maintained a high ROS status and were highly responsive to ROS stimulation. [Cell Stem Cell]

Simultaneous Two-Photon Calcium Imaging at Different Depths with Spatiotemporal Multiplexing
Researchers demonstrate calcium imaging at multiple axial planes in the intact mouse brain to monitor network activity of ensembles of cortical neurons in three spatial dimensions. [Nat Methods]

Biophysical Mechanisms Underlying Olfactory Receptor Neuron Dynamics
The responses of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) to odors have complex dynamics. Using genetics and pharmacology, researchers found that these dynamics in Drosophila ORNs could be separated into sequential steps, corresponding to transduction and spike generation. [Nat Neurosci]

A Targeted NKX2.1 Hesc Reporter Line Enables Identification of Human Basal Forebrain Derivatives
These studies highlight the diversity of cell types that can be generated from human NKX2.1+ progenitors and demonstrate the utility of NKX2.1GFP/w human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) for investigating human forebrain development and neuronal differentiation. [Stem Cells]

Her9 Represses Neurogenic Fate Downstream of Tbx1 and Retinoic Acid Signaling in the Inner Ear
In this study, researchers identify her9, a zebrafish ortholog of Hes1 , as a key gene in regulating otic neurogenesis through the definition of the posterolateral non-neurogenic field. [Development]

Novel Regulation of Parkin Function through c-Abl-Mediated Tyrosine Phosphorylation: Implications for Parkinson’s Disease
Mutations in parkin , an E3 ubiquitin ligase, are the most common cause of autosomal-recessive Parkinson’s disease (PD). Here, researchers show that the stress-signaling non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl links parkin to sporadic forms of PD via tyrosine phosphorylation. [J Neurosci]

Neural Tumor-Initiating Cells Have Distinct Telomere Maintenance and Can be Safely Targeted for Telomerase Inhibition
Researchers examined telomerase activity, telomere maintenance, and stem cell maturation in tumor subpopulations from freshly resected gliomas, long-term, primary, neural tumor-initiating cells and corresponding normal stem cell lines. [Clin Cancer Res]

Concentration-Dependent Effects of NGF on Cell Fate Determination of Neural Progenitors
The present study investigated the potential of mouse inner ear statoacoustic ganglion derived neural progenitors to differentiate toward spiral ganglion neuron-like glutamatergic cells and the influence to cell survival and differentiation when nerve growth factor (NGF) was supplied. [Stem Cells Dev]


NeuroSearch Announces a Restructuring of the Company to Support and Strengthen Strategic Focus
NeuroSearch (NEUR), a European based biopharmaceutical company, announced a re-structuring of the organisation to ensure full support to the strategy of becoming a profitable speciality pharma company focused on diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). The lead asset to realise this strategic objective is Huntexil®, a unique orphan product which holds promise as an important therapeutic advance for patients with Huntington’s disease. [NeuroSearch Press Release]

Scientist Wins Award for Tackling Devastating Brain Disease in Kids
Miguel Sena-Esteves, PhD, associate professor of neurology, was presented with the annual “See the Light” award from the Mathew Forbes Romer Foundation (MFRF) in recognition of his leadership in the fight against children’s genetic diseases of the brain. [University of Massachusetts Medical School Press Release]

Alkermes Spinout Civitas Therapeutics Nabs $20M to Fuel Parkinson’s Program
Armed with advanced delivery technology, pipeline assets and a manufacturing facility all spun out of Alkermes, the up-start Civitas Therapeutics is announcing that it has garnered $20 million in Series A cash from two venture groups. [Fierce Biotech]

Synageva BioPharma Corp and to-BBB to Collaborate on Brain Drug Delivery for Rare Diseases
Synageva BioPharma Corp. and to-BBB technologies BV, the Dutch drug brain delivery company, have entered into a research collaboration to evaluate the potential of transporting therapeutic proteins across the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system. [Synageva BioPharma Corp. Press Release]

UIC Distinguished University Professor Named AAAS Fellow
Mark M. Rasenick, Distinguished University Professor in physiology and biophysics and psychiatry and founding director of the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. [University of Illinois College of Medicine Press Release]


National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


 Keystone: Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Molecular and Cellular Basis for Neurodegeneration
February 21-26, 2011
Taos, United States

NEW  8th International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) World Congress of Neuroscience
July 14-18, 2011
Florence, Italy

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.


Lab Technologist – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

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