Volume 5.29 | Jul 27

Neural Cell News 5.29, July 27, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

Gardening in the Brain: Specialist Cells Prune Connections Between Neurons
Microglia prune the connections between neurons, shaping how the brain is wired. [Press release from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory discussing online prepublication in Science]

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SCIENCE NEWS
New Approach to Traumatic Brain Injuries: Researchers Offer Hope for Veterans Wounded by Explosions
Bioengineers have, for the first time, explained how the blast of an exploding bomb can translate into subtly disastrous injuries in the nerve cells and blood vessels of the brain. [Press release from Harvard University discussing online prepublication in PLoS One and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Researchers Create the First Artificial Neural Network Out of DNA
Researchers are the first to have made an artificial neural network out of DNA, creating a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can. [Press release from the California Institute of Technology discussing online prepublication in Nature]

A Single Traumatic Brain Injury May Prompt Long-Term Neurodegeneration
In a new study, researchers suggest that Alzheimer’s disease-like neurodegeneration may be initiated or accelerated following a single traumatic brain injury, even in young adults. [Press release from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania discussing online prepublication in Brain Pathology]

Fast Prediction of Axon Behavior: Modeling Method Speeds Analysis from Weeks to Seconds
Researchers have developed a computer modeling method to accurately predict how a peripheral nerve axon responds to electrical stimuli, slashing the complex work from an inhibitory weeks-long process to just a few seconds. [Press release from Case Western Reserve University discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neural Engineering]

Alzheimer’s Disease Genes Aid the Search for Preventive Drugs
Proposed trials of candidate drugs before symptoms appear offer hope of more effective treatments. [NatureNews]

Researchers Trace Early Journey of Modulating Cells in Brain
Key cells in the hippocampus are formed in the base of the brain late in fetal life and undertake a long journey before reaching their final destination in the center of the brain shortly after birth, according to researchers. [Press release from the National Institutes of Health discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Neural Network Computation with DNA Strand Displacement Cascades
Here, building on the richness of DNA computing and strand displacement circuitry, researchers show how molecular systems can exhibit autonomous brain-like behaviours. [Nature]

Postnatal Loss of Dlk1 Imprinting in Stem Cells and Niche Astrocytes Regulates Neurogenesis
Here investigators show that mice that are deficient in delta-like homologue 1 (Dlk1) have defects in postnatal neurogenesis in the subventricular zone: a developmental continuum that results in depletion of mature neurons in the olfactory bulb. [Nature]

Synaptic Pruning by Microglia Is Necessary for Normal Brain Development
Here, researchers show that microglia actively engulf synaptic material and play a major role in synaptic pruning during postnatal development in mice. [Science]

Neural Crest Cell Lineage Restricts Skeletal Muscle Progenitor Cell Differentiation Through Neuregulin1-ErbB3 Signaling
Here researchers show that mice with specific neural crest cells and peripheral nervous system defects display impaired survival of skeletal muscle and show skeletal muscle progenitor cell depletion due to precocious commitment to differentiation. [Dev Cell]

Cograft of Neural Stem Cells and Schwann Cells Overexpressing TrkC and Neurotrophin-3 Respectively after Rat Spinal Cord Transection
In the present study, researchers tested the hypothesis if cograft of Schwann cells and neural stem cells (NSCs) with genetically enhanced expression of neurotrophin-3 and its high affinity receptor TrkC, respectively, could strengthen neural repair through increased NSC survival and neuronal differentiation at the epicenter after complete T10 spinal cord transection in adult rats. [Biomaterials]

A Blueprint for the Spatiotemporal Origins of Mouse Hippocampal Interneuron Diversity
Researchers investigated the spatiotemporal origins of hippocampal interneurons using transgenic mice that specifically report medial and caudal ganglionic eminence-derived interneurons either constitutively or inducibly. [J Neurosci]

Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Establish Region-Specific, Long-Range Projections in the Adult Brain
Researchers addressed the potential of human embryonic stem cell-derived long-term self-renewing neuroepithelial stem cells to establish axonal projections after transplantation into the adult rodent brain. [Cell Mol Life Sci]

Widespread Tau and Amyloid-Beta Pathology Many Years After a Single Traumatic Brain Injury in Humans
The data demonstrates widespread neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid-β plaque pathologies are present in a proportion of patients following a single traumatic brain injury (TBI), suggesting that some individuals who experience a single TBI may develop long-term neuropathological changes akin to those found in neurodegenerative disease. [Brain Pathol]

A Possible Role for Integrin Signaling in Diffuse Axonal Injury
In order to study the effects of forces at the cellular level, researchers utilized two hierarchical, in vitro systems to mimic traumatic injury to rat cortical neurons: a high velocity stretcher and a magnetic tweezer system. [PLoS One]

Predicting Myelinated Axon Activation Using Spatial Characteristics of the Extracellular Field
This paper introduces two methods of predicting axon activation that incorporate a threshold that includes the magnitude of the extracellular potential to achieve increased accuracy over previous computationally efficient methods. [J Neural Eng]

INDUSTRY NEWS

BrainStorm Enters Into Agreement with FDA Specialist for the Development of ALS Human Clinical Trial Protocol in the USA
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with PharmaNet LLC to assist in the development of the protocol and IND file for submission to the FDA for approval of BrainStorm’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) human clinical trials in the United States. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. Press Release]
 
Neuralstem Receives Russian Patent for Stem Cell Transplantation to Treat Neurodegenerative Conditions
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that it has received a patent covering the transplantation of human neural cells for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions from the Russian Federation. [Neuralstem, Inc. Press Release]

International Stem Cell Starts Series of Preclinical Animal Studies of Neuronal Cells Derived from Human Parthenogenetic Stem Cells
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) announced the initiation of a series of preclinical animal studies of neuronal cells derived from ISCO’s proprietary pluripotent stem cells. [International Stem Cell Corporation Press Release]

Impax Pharmaceuticals Completes Enrollment in ASCEND-PD Phase III Trial of IPX066 in Parkinson’s Disease
Impax Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced that it has completed enrollment in the ASCEND-PD trial. ASCEND-PD is a multinational Phase III comparative study of IPX066 to carbidopa-levodopa and entacapone in subjects with advanced Parkinson’s disease. [Impax Laboratories, Inc. Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-18968) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

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 Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2011
November 17-18, 2011
Singapore

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

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Microarray Lab Scientist and Manager (NeuroScience Inc.)

Postdoc Position (University of California, Davis)


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