Volume 6.21 | May 30

Neural Cell News 6.21 May 30, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Cellular Boundary Key to Neuronal Function
Researchers have identified a distal axonal cytoskeleton that functions as a boundary to ensure a key scaffolding protein, called ankyrinG, stays at the start of the axon near the cell body where it performs its functions of clustering sodium and potassium ion channels and maintaining the neuron’s proper organization. [Press release from the Baylor College of Medicine discussing online republicaiton in Cell]
Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Astrocyte Glypicans 4 and 6 Promote Formation of Excitatory Synapses via GluA1 AMPA Receptors
Researchers used the biochemical fractionation of astrocyte-conditioned medium to identify glypican 4 and glypican 6 as astrocyte-secreted signals sufficient to induce functional synapses between purified retinal ganglion cell neurons, and showed that depletion of these molecules from astrocyte-conditioned medium significantly reduces its ability to induce postsynaptic activity. [Nature] Abstract

Microglia Sculpt Postnatal Neural Circuits in an Activity and Complement-Dependent Manner
Researchers demonstrated a role for microglia in activity-dependent synaptic pruning in the postnatal retinogeniculate system. [Neuron]
Abstract | Press Release

The Age of Olfactory Bulb Neurons in Humans
Researchers assessed the age of olfactory bulb neurons in humans by measuring the levels of nuclear bomb test-derived 14C in genomic DNA. They report that 14C concentrations correspond to the atmospheric levels at the time of birth of the individuals, establishing that there is very limited, if any, postnatal neurogenesis in the human olfactory bulb. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release

Long-Range Ca2+ Waves Transmit Brain-Damage Signals to Microglia
Researchers used the optically transparent zebrafish larval brain and identified rapidly propagating Ca2+ waves that determine the range of microglial responses to neuronal cell death. [Dev Cell]
Abstract | Press Release

The ALS Disease Protein TDP-43 Is Actively Transported in Motor Neuron Axons and Regulates Axon Outgrowth
The results of this study suggest a role of TDP-43 in the regulation of axonal growth, and that impairment in the post-transcriptional regulation of mRNAs in the cytoplasm of motor neurons may be a major factor in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

Signaling Defects in iPSC-Derived Fragile X Premutation Neurons
To investigate the underlying cellular neuropathology of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome, researchers produced iPSC-derived neurons from isogenic subclones of primary fibroblasts of a female premutation carrier, with each subclone bearing exclusively either the normal or the expanded (premutation) form of the fragile X gene as the active allele. [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

Neuronal Properties, In Vivo Effects and Pathology of a Huntington’s Disease Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The results of this study indicate that, although Huntington’s disease (HD) induced pluripotent stem cells carrying 72 CAG repeats can form GABAergic neurons and give rise to functional effects in vivo, without showing an overt HD phenotype, it is highly susceptible to proteasome inhibition and develops HD pathology at later stages of transplantation. [Stem Cells] Abstract | Press Release

Rapid Dopaminergic and GABA-ergic Modulation of Calcium and Voltage Transients in Dendrites of Prefrontal Cortex Pyramidal Neurons
The physiological responses of dendrites to dopaminergic inputs are poorly understood and controversial. The authors applied dopamine on one dendritic branch while simultaneously monitoring action potentials from multiple dendrites using either calcium-sensitive dye, voltage-sensitive dye, or both. [J Physiol] Abstract

Arsenic Exposure Inhibits Myogenesis and Neurogenesis in P19 Stem Cells through Repression of the Β-Catenin Signaling Pathway
Researchers used P19 mouse embryonic stem cells to examine whether arsenic exposure could alter their differentiation into skeletal muscles and neurons. [Toxicol Sci] Abstract

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INDUSTRY NEWS

UCSF Receives Transformative Gift for Neuroscience Research and Care from Sandler Foundation
The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has received a challenge gift of $20 million from the Sandler Foundation that will provide major support for the university’s groundbreaking research and clinical care efforts regarding neurological diseases. [University of California, San Francisco] Press Release


UCI Stem Cell Researcher to Receive $4.8 Million in State Funding
A University of California Irvine (UCI) immunologist will receive $4.8 million to create a new line of neural stem cells that can be used to treat multiple sclerosis. [University of California, Irvine] Press Release


City of Hope Receives $5 Million Grant to Develop T Cell Treatment Targeting Brain Tumor Stem Cells
City of Hope was granted a $5,217,004 early translational research award by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to support the development of a T cell-based immunotherapy that re-directs a patient’s own immune response against glioma stem cells. [City of Hope]
Press Release

13th International Alzheimer’s Disease Drug Discovery Conference

POLICY NEWS

White House Petitioned to Make Research Free to Access
More than 17,000 people have signed an online petition urging US President Barack Obama to require all scientific journal articles resulting from US taxpayer-funded research to be made freely available online. [White House, United States] Press Release


Horizon 2020: A €80 Billion Battlefield for Open Access
As negotiations proceed to shape the next installment of Europe’s gargantuan research funding programs, scientists, librarians, and publishers are eagerly awaiting the answer to a critical question: How strong will the new seven-year program, called Horizon 2020, be on Open Access? [European Commission, European Union] 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)

EVENTS

NEW 44th International Danube Neurology Symposium
June 7-9, 2012
Szeged, Hungary

NEW
Twenty-Second Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS)
June 9-12, 2012
Prague, Czech Republic

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist – Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Epithelial Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


Scientist – Mesenchymal Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)


Research Associate – Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


Research Associate – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


Research Technologist – Contract Assay Services (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


Research Technologist – Media Development (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)


Postdoctoral Position – GIGA-Neurosciences (University of Liège)


Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Neural Stem Cells (Institute for Neurosciences of Montpellier)


Assistant Professor – Neurology (Department of Neurology at Columbia University and the New York Presbyterian Hospital)


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