Volume 5.23 | Jun 15

Neural Cell News 5.23, June 15, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

New Genetic Technique Converts Skin Cells into Brain Cells
A research breakthrough has proven that it is possible to reprogram mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage. [Press release from Lund University discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Fragile X Protein Acts as Toggle Switch in Brain Cells
New research shows how the protein missing in fragile X syndrome acts as a molecular toggle switch in brain cells. [Press release from Emory University discussing online prepublication in Molecular Cell]

Brain Structure Adapts to Environmental Change
Columbia researchers have found that under stressful conditions, neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus can produce not only neurons, but also new stem cells. [Press release from Newswise discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

Sniffing Out a New Source of Stem Cells
A team of researchers has generated data in mice that suggest that adult stem cells from immune system tissue in the smell-sensing region of the human nose (human olfactory ecto–mesenchymal stem cells) could provide a source of cells to treat brain disorders in which nerve cells are lost or irreparably damaged. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

A Scientific Breakthrough at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal Could Help Understand Certain Cancers
A team of scientists discovered a new requirement for the proper functioning of the Sonic Hedgehog protein. [Press release from the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal discussing online prepublication in Developmental Cell]

Target Molecule Eyed in Repair of Injured Nerve Cells
A team of investigators have discovered that a factor in the embryonic development of brain cells is an important target for developing new drugs and stem cell therapies to treat patients who have lost function from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke and other “demyelinating” diseases and injuries. [Press release from University of California discussing online prepublication in Nature Scientific Reports]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

In Vivo Clonal Analysis Reveals Self-Renewing and Multipotent Adult Neural Stem Cell Characteristics
Researchers developed a genetic marking strategy for lineage tracing of individual, quiescent, and nestin-expressing radial glia-like precursors in the adult mouse dentate gyrus. [Cell]

Pluripotency Factors in Embryonic Stem Cells Regulate Differentiation into Germ Layers
Investigators asked how mouse embryonic stem cells leave the pluripotent state and choose between germ layer fates. [Cell]

Engraftment of Human Nasal Olfactory Stem Cells Restores Neuroplasticity in Mice with Hippocampal Lesions
Researchers report that upon transplantation into mice with chemically induced hippocampal lesions, human olfactory ecto–mesenchymal stem cells — adult stem cells from human nasal olfactory lamina propria — migrated toward the sites of neural damage, where they differentiated into neurons. [J Clin Invest]

Reversible Inhibition of PSD-95 mRNA Translation by miR-125a, FMRP Phosphorylation, and mGluR Signaling
Here researchers show that microRNA-125a targeting PSD-95 mRNA allows reversible inhibition of translation and regulation by gp1 mGluR signaling. [Mol Cell]

Light Acts Through Melanopsin to Alter Retinal Waves and Segregation of Retinogeniculate Afferents
Researchers found that light prolongs spiking during the waves and enhances the segregation of retinogeniculate afferents, and that it did so by activating melanopsin-expressing, intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. [Nat Neurosci]

Boc and Gas1 Each Form Distinct Shh Receptor Complexes with Ptch1 and Are Required for Shh-Mediated Cell Proliferation
Here researchers show that, unexpectedly, cerebellar granule neuron progenitors lacking Boc and Cdon, the vertebrate orthologs of Ihog and Boi, still proliferate in response to Hedgehog. [Dev Cell]

Overlapping Roles and Collective Requirement for the Coreceptors GAS1, CDO, and BOC in SHH Pathway Function
Researchers provide evidence that GAS1, CDO, and BOC play overlapping and essential roles during Hedgehog-mediated ventral neural patterning of the mammalian neural tube. [Dev Cell]

Experience Dictates Stem Cell Fate in the Adult Hippocampus
Here researchers perform an indelible lineage analysis and report that neural stem cells can produce expanding and persisting populations of not only neurons, but also stem cells in the adult hippocampus. [Neuron]

Direct Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Dopaminergic Neurons
Recent reports demonstrate that somatic mouse cells can be directly converted to other mature cell types by using combined expression of defined factors. Here researchers show that the same strategy can be applied to human embryonic and postnatal fibroblasts. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Zfp488 Promotes Oligodendrocyte Differentiation of Neural Progenitor Cells in Adult Mice After Demyelination
In this study, researchers tested whether Zfp488 could promote an oligodendrogenic fate in adult subventricular zone neural stem/progenitor cells. [Nat Sci Rep]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Internationally Respected Neuroscientist Edward G. Jones Dies at 72
Edward G. “Ted” Jones, an internationally respected neuroscientist, authority on the anatomy of the brain and central nervous system and the foundations of psychiatric disorders, and former director of the University of California, Davis Center for Neuroscience, died suddenly on June 6. He was 72. [University of California, Davis Press Release]

Anavex Advances Second Lead Compound; Initiates Scale-up Manufacturing of ANAVEX 1-41
Anavex Life Sciences Corp., today announced the initiation of scale-up manufacturing of ANAVEX 1-41, its lead compound for a range of important neurological diseases and a potential back-up compound to ANAVEX 2-73 in Alzheimer’s disease. [Anavex Life Sciences Corp. Press Release]

Funding Crisis Threatens Development of New Treatments for Mental Illness – Urgent Action Needed
A new report published by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology raises serious concerns about the abrupt withdrawal by major pharmaceutical companies from research into mental disorders and diseases of the brain in Europe. [European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Press Release]

Valeant and GlaxoSmithKline Announce U.S. FDA Approval of Potiga(TM) (ezogabine)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Potiga(TM) (ezogabine) Tablets, a potassium channel opener, as adjunctive treatment of partial-onset seizures in patients aged 18 years and older. [Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Press Release]

BrainStorm Initiates Clinical Trials and Holds Successful Shareholders Meeting
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, a developer of adult stem cell technologies and CNS therapeutics, announced that together with the Hadassah Medical Organization, a successful study initiation/clinical trial kickoff meeting was held at the Hadassah Medical Center and with this meeting the trial is underway. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

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)

EVENTS

NEW 2011 World Stem Cell Summit
October 3-5, 2011
Pasadena, United States

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Tenure Track, Assistant/Associate Professor (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine)

Neuroscience Center Director (The University of Texas Health Science Center)

Information Management Scientist – Scientific Data Management (Databases) (Dart Neuroscience LLC)

Chemist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Senior Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)


Microarray Lab Scientist and Manager (NeuroScience Inc.)

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