Volume 5.46 | Nov 23

Neural Cell News 5.46, November 23, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Implanted Neurons, Grown in the Lab, Take Charge of Brain Circuitry
Scientists report that neurons, forged in the lab from blank slate human embryonic stem cells and implanted into the brains of mice, can successfully fuse with the brain’s wiring and both send and receive signals. [Press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA] Press Release | Abstract

Request a pluripotent stem cell wallchart from Nature and STEMCELL
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

UNC-33 (CRMP) and Ankyrin Organize Microtubules and Localize Kinesin to Polarize Axon-Dendrite Sorting
Investigators show here that Caenorhabditis elegans CRMP acts early in neuronal development, together with ankyrin, to organize microtubule asymmetry and axon-dendrite sorting. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

A Catalytically Silent FAAH-1 Variant Drives Anandamide Transport in Neurons
Here researchers describe a partly cytosolic variant of the intracellular anandamide-degrading enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase-1 (FAAH-1) that lacked amidase activity but bound anandamide with low micromolar affinity and facilitated its translocation into cells. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Common DISC1 Polymorphisms Disrupt Wnt/GSK3ß Signaling and Brain Development
Here, researchers demonstrate using mouse, zebrafish, and human model systems that Disrupted-in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) variants are loss of function in Wnt/GSK3ß signaling and disrupt brain development. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release

Interaction between FEZ1 and DISC1 in Regulation of Neuronal Development and Risk for Schizophrenia
Here, researchers show that Fasciculation and Elongation Protein Zeta-1 (FEZ1) interacts with Disrupted-in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) to synergistically regulate dendritic growth of newborn neurons in the adult mouse hippocampus, and that this pathway complements a parallel DISC1-NDEL1 interaction that regulates cell positioning and morphogenesis of newborn neurons. [Neuron] Abstract

Activation of Central Orexin/Hypocretin Neurons by Dietary Amino Acids
Researchers show that orexin/hypocretin cells are stimulated by nutritionally relevant mixtures of amino acids (AAs), both in brain slice patch-clamp experiments, and in c-Fos expression assays following central or peripheral administration of AAs to mice in vivo. [Neuron] Abstract

Direct Reprogramming of Human Fibroblasts into Dopaminergic Neuron-Like Cells
Here researchers show that a combination of five transcriptional factors Mash1, Ngn2, Sox2, Nurr1, and Pitx3 can directly and effectively reprogram human fibroblasts into dopaminergic neuron-like cells. [Cell Res] Abstract

Dopamine Neurons Code Subjective Sensory Experience and Uncertainty of Perceptual Decisions
Here researchers show that dopamine neurons code the uncertainty associated with a perceptual judgment about the presence or absence of a vibrotactile stimulus. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Astrocytes Mediate Non-Cell-Autonomous Neuroprotection through Endogenous and Drug-Induced Mechanisms
Here, investigators describe a human embryonic stem cell-based system to assess the scope and mechanism of human astrocyte-mediated neuroprotection. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

RP58/ZNF238 Directly Modulates Proneurogenic Gene Levels and Is Required for Neuronal Differentiation and Brain Expansion
Data suggests that RP58 may act to favor neuronal differentiation and brain growth by coherently repressing multiple proneurogenic genes in a timely manner. [Cell Death Differ] Abstract

Elimination of Redundant Synaptic Inputs in the Absence of Synaptic Strengthening
Using patch-clamp recordings in acute slices, researchers examined developmental refinement of whisker relay synapses in the thalamus in mice deficient of AMPA receptor subunits. [J Neurosci]
Abstract | Press Release

Listen Now: New Podcast on ALDH in Breast Cancer Treatment Response

SCIENCE NEWS
Researchers Use Stem Cells to Gain New Insight into Severe Childhood Form of Epilepsy
A team of researchers investigating the fundamental cause of Dravet syndrome have reprogrammed fibroblasts from Dravet patients and generated patient-specific neurons – which could help determine new therapies or better medications for the syndrome. [Press release from the University of Michigan Health System discussing research presented at the American Epilepsy Society’s 65th Annual Meeting, Baltimore] Press Release
INDUSTRY NEWS

MSRCNY Receives Approval for Groundbreaking Stem Cell Trial in Multiple Sclerosis
The Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York (MSRCNY) and the International Cellular Medicine Society (ICMS) jointly announced the ICMS Institutional Review Board’s approval of the first study to use autologous brain-like or neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis. [International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice] Press Release

How Does a “Good” Protein Hurt Brain Cells after Clot-Induced Stroke
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a four-year, $1.4 million grant to Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurology to study an unexpected recent discovery: After ischemic stroke a normal protein that plays a positive role in blood clotting escapes intact arteries and damages healthy brain cells. [Cedars-Sinai]
Press Release

$3 Million Raised for Alzheimer’s Drug
A consortium of four investors, including the Technion Research and Development Foundation Ltd., has completed a $3 million financing round for Israel-based Avraham Pharmaceuticals to further the development of a novel drug for Alzheimer’s disease. [American Technion Society] Press Release

TCG Lifesciences Collaborates with JSW Lifesciences in the Area of CNS
TCG Lifesciences Limited (TCGLS) has announced that it has entered into a strategic agreement with JSW Lifesciences (JSW) to strengthen its R&D offerings in the area of Central Nervous System (CNS). This agreement will enable TCGLS and JSW to offer specialized preclinical and early clinical development services in the neuroscience domain to their combined customer base. [TCG Lifesciences Ltd.] Press Release

Pfizer’s Vyndaqel® (tafamidis) First Therapy Approved in the European Union for the Rare and Fatal Neurodegenerative Disease Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP)
Pfizer announced that the European Commission has approved Vyndaqel® for the treatment of transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy in adult patients with stage 1 symptomatic polyneuropathy. [Pfizer Inc.] 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 Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology – Chemical Biology and Novel Tools in Pharmacology
February 12-16, 2012
Sante Fe, New Mexico

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

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)               

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies) 


Lab Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientific Marketing Communications Specialist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)

Lab Technologist Position (Michigan State University)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuronal Stem Cell Research (University of Connecticut Health Center)

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