Volume 5.33 | Aug 24

Neural Cell News 5.33, August 24, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

A New Nuance to Neurons
A fundamental new discovery about how nerve cells in the brain store and release tiny sacs filled with chemicals may radically alter the way scientists think about neurotransmission. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Road Block as a New Strategy for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Blocking a transport pathway through the brain cells offers new prospects to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. [Press release from VIB discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Major ALS Breakthrough: Researchers Discover Common Cause of all Forms of ALS
The discovery by researchers provides a common target for drug therapy and shows that all types of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are, indeed, tributaries, pouring into a common river of cellular incompetence. [Press release from Northwestern University discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Study Will Aid Parkinson’s Research
Scientists have for the first time generated stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson’s disease. The development will help research into the condition as it will enable scientists to model the disease in the laboratory to shed light on why certain nerve cells die. [Press release from the University of Edinburgh discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications]

Neuroscientists Show Activity Patterns in Fly Brain Are Optimized for Memory Storage
A research team has published results of experiments that show large populations of neurons in the brains of living fruit flies responding to a variety of odors. [Press release from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Mutations in UBQLN2 Cause Dominant X-Linked Juvenile and Adult-Onset ALS and ALS/Dementia
Here scientists show that mutations in UBQLN2, which encodes the ubiquitin-like protein ubiquilin-2, cause dominantly inherited, chromosome-X-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ALS/dementia. [Nature]

Conversion of Mouse and Human Fibroblasts into Functional Spinal Motor Neurons
Here researchers report that the forced expression of select transcription factors is sufficient to convert mouse and human fibroblasts into induced motor neurons. [Cell Stem Cell]

Spatial Gradients and Multidimensional Dynamics in a Neural Integrator Circuit
Researchers used optical recording to measure the time constant of decay of persistent firing (persistence time) across a population of neurons comprising the larval zebrafish oculomotor velocity-to-position neural integrator. [Nat Neurosci]

miR-124a Is Required for Hippocampal Axogenesis and Retinal Cone Survival Through Lhx2 Suppression
The results suggest that microRNA-124a (miR-124a) is essential for the maturation and survival of dentate gyrus neurons and retinal cones, as it represses Lhx2 translation. [Nat Neurosci]

v-SNARE Composition Distinguishes Synaptic Vesicle Pools
The results suggest that different endocytic mechanisms generate synaptic vesicles with different proteins that can endow the vesicles with distinct properties. [Neuron]

ADP Ribosylation Factor 6 (ARF6) Controls Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) Processing by Mediating the Endosomal Sorting of BACE1
The results demonstrate a spatial separation between APP and ß-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) during surface-to-endosome transport, suggesting subcellular trafficking as a regulatory mechanism for this proteolytic processing step. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Neural Stem Cells Maintain Their Stemness Through Protein Kinase C ζ-Mediated Inhibition of TRIM32
Here, researchers provide evidence that the neuronal fate determinant TRIM32 binds to the protein kinase C ζ. Through this interaction, TRIM32 is retained in the cytoplasm. [Stem Cells]

Cellular-Resolution Population Imaging Reveals Robust Sparse Coding in the Drosophila Mushroom Body
Here researchers used two-photon imaging to record neural activity in the relatively simple Drosophila mushroom body, an area involved in olfactory learning and memory. [J Neurosci]

Gcm/Glide-Dependent Conversion into Glia Depends on Neural Stem Cell Age, but Not on Division, Triggering a Chromatin Signature That Is Conserved in Vertebrate Glia
Researchers show here that overexpression of the Gcm transcription factor, which controls the glial versus neuronal fate choice, fully and efficiently converts Drosophila neural stem cells towards the glial fate via an intermediate state. [Development]

Parkinson’s Disease Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Triplication of the α-Synuclein Locus
The model represents a new experimental system to identify compounds that reduce levels of α-synuclein, and to investigate the mechanistic basis of neurodegeneration caused by α-synuclein dysfunction. [Nat Commun]

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INDUSTRY NEWS

AMRI Receives NIH Contract Award for the Development of Pre-Clinical Drug Candidates to Treat Diseases of the Nervous System
AMRI announced it received a federal contract award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to provide chemistry and other drug discovery technologies in support of NINDS’ Medicinal Chemistry for Neurotherapeutics Program, part of the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network. [AMRI Press Release]

Major NIH Grant Funds Novel Alzheimer’s Drug Development at UC San Diego
As part of its $50 million Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded researchers an inaugural grant designed to fast-track development of a novel Alzheimer’s disease therapy. [University of California, San Diego 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 4th Annual Maryland Stem Cell Research Symposium
October 6, 2011
Towson, United States

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

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Research and Development Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies) 


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