Volume 8.14 | Apr 16

Neural Cell News 8.14 April 16, 2014
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
Getting to the Root of Parkinson’s Disease
Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson’s disease present in a large number of patients. A report on the study could lead to new treatments for this disorder. [Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine discussing online prepublication in Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Hippo/YAP-Mediated Rigidity-Dependent Motor Neuron Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers showed that neural induction and caudalization of human pluripotent stem cells can be accelerated by using a synthetic microengineered substrate system consisting of poly(dimethylsiloxane) micropost arrays with tunable mechanical rigidities. [Nat Mater] Abstract | Press Release

Reconstructing and Reprogramming the Tumor-Propagating Potential of Glioblastoma Stem-Like Cells
Researchers identified a core set of neurodevelopmental transcription factors (TFs) essential for glioblastoma (GBM) propagation. These TFs coordinately bind and activate tumor-propagating cell (TPC)-specific regulatory elements and are sufficient to fully reprogram differentiated GBM cells to “induced” TPCs, recapitulating the epigenetic landscape and phenotype of native TPCs. [Cell] Abstract

Neuronal Activity Promotes Oligodendrogenesis and Adaptive Myelination in the Mammalian Brain
Scientists used optogenetic stimulation of premotor cortex in awake, behaving mice to demonstrate that neuronal activity elicits a mitogenic response of neural progenitor cells and oligodendrocyte precursor cells, promotes oligodendrogenesis and increases myelination within the deep layers of the premotor cortex and subcortical white matter. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

Roles of Heat Shock Factor 1 in Neuronal Response to Fetal Environmental Risks and Its Relevance to Brain Disorders
Researchers showed that exposure of embryos to a variety of environmental factors such as alcohol, methylmercury, and maternal seizure activates heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) in cerebral cortical cells. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release

Lin28a Regulates Neuronal Differentiation and Controls miR-9 Production
Scientists showed that miR-9 is regulated transcriptionally and post-transcriptionally during neuronal differentiation of the embryonic carcinoma cell line P19. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Ultrasmall Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Prelabelling of Human Neural Precursor Cells
Researchers investigated the biological impact of introducing ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles into primary human fetal neural precursor cells in vitro. [Biomaterials] Abstract

CGP37157, an Inhibitor of the Mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger, Protects Neurons from Excitotoxicity by Blocking Voltage-Gated Ca2+ Channels
Investigators analyzed how intracellular Ca2+ levels are modulated by CGP37157 during N-methyl-D-aspartate insults in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Nicotinamide Nucleotide Transhydrogenase (Nnt) Links the Substrate Requirement in Brain Mitochondria for Hydrogen Peroxide Removal to the Thioredoxin/Peroxiredoxin (Trx/Prx) System
Investigators sought to determine the mechanism linking mitochondrial respiration with hydrogen peroxide catabolism in brain mitochondria and dopaminergic cells. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Directed Neurite Growth of Rat Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons and Increased Colocalization with Schwann Cells on Aligned Poly(Methyl Methacrylate) Electrospun Nanofibers
Coculturing dorsal root ganglion neurons and Schwann cells on poly(methyl methacrylate) nanofibers revealed that on aligned nanofibers, neurites and Schwann cells had a higher chance of colocalization than on randomly oriented nanofibers or film. [Brain Res] Abstract

Detailed Analysis of the Genetic and Epigenetic Signatures of iPSC-Derived Mesodiencephalic Dopaminergic Neurons
Scientists examined the authenticity of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)-derived dopaminergic neurons obtained by established protocols. They FACS purified mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons derived from mouse iPSCs and primary mdDA neurons to analyze and compare their genetic and epigenetic features. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article

Webinar: Modeling Human Neurological Disease with iPS Cells
 
REVIEWS
Interneurons from Embryonic Development to Cell-Based Therapy
When transplanted from embryos or in vitro culture preparations, immature interneurons disperse and integrate into host brain circuits, both in the cerebral cortex and in other regions of the central nervous system. These features make interneuron transplantation a powerful tool for the study of neurodevelopmental processes such as cell specification, cell death, and cortical plasticity. [Science] Abstract

Micro-Masters of Glioblastoma Biology and Therapy: Increasingly Recognized Roles for MicroRNAs
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs encoded in eukaryotic genomes that have been found to play critical roles in most biological processes, including cancer. This is true for glioblastoma, the most common and lethal primary brain tumor, for which microRNAs have been shown to strongly influence cell viability, stem cell characteristics, invasiveness, angiogenesis, metabolism, and immune evasion. [Neuro Oncol] Abstract

Multiple Modes of Communication between Neurons and Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells
The authors discuss different mechanisms used by oligodendrocytes precursor cells to interact with neurons and their potential roles during postnatal development and in brain disorders. [Neuroscientist] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Collaborators Present Translational Brain Cancer Clinical Data and Immunomodulatory Preclinical Research
Dr. Melcher’s presentation covered early clinical research showing that intravenously delivered REOLYSIN® can cross the blood brain barrier to access tumours in the brains of humans and preclinical research examining the synergies associated with treatment in animal models with GM-CSF prior to administering REOLYSIN®. [Press release from Oncolytics Biotech Inc. discussing research presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Oncolytic Virus Therapeutics, Oxford] Press Release

Interim Clinical Data for Tocagen’s Toca 511 & Toca FC in Patients with High Grade Glioma Presented
Tocagen Inc. announced that updated interim clinical data from two ongoing investigational studies of Toca 511 in combination with Toca FC in 68 patients with recurrent high grade glioma were presented. [Press release from Tocagen Inc. discussing research presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Meeting, San Francisco] Press Release

From our sponsor: Pluripotent cell isolation for regenerative medicine. Request a free wallchart from Nature.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
BrainStorm Granted Additional US Patent for Its Autologous Stem Cell Technology
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company an additional patent for its autologous stem cell technology. The patent covers the production method of the company’s proprietary stem cells induced to secrete significantly elevated levels of neurotrophic factors for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

ICB International Develops Tracer for Imaging Alpha-Synuclein in Parkinson’s Disease
ICB International, Inc. (ICBI), announced the development of a tracer for imaging alpha-synuclein (a-Syn) in Parkinson’s-like mice. ICBI has created an a-Syn-SMART Molecule that enters the blood stream, passes through the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system and latches onto its target, a-Syn. [ICB International, Inc.] Press Release

Stand Up To Cancer Research Funding Opportunities
The American Association for Cancer Research, on behalf of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Cancer Research UK, is accepting applications for SU2C-Cancer Research UK Translational Research Fellowships that will offer up to $315,000 each in research funding. [The American Association for Cancer Research]
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 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 50th Annual Meeting
May 30 – June 3, 2014
Chicago, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Fellow / Senior Research Associate – Neural Stem Cells (The University of Hong Kong)

NEW Research Technician – Neural Tube Development In Vivo (King’s College London)

MSc & PhD Positions – Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Neuroimmunology, Cancer Biology, Computational Biology (Hanyang University)

Postdoctoral Position – Developmental Neurobiology (The Vision Institute)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Research Officer – Stem Cell Research (Bioprocessing Technology Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells and Regeneration (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience & Cell Biology (Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurobiology (Italian Institute of Technology – IIT)

Postdoctoral Positions – Cellular Neuroscience and Autism (University of Edinburgh)

PhD Student Position – Retinal Research (Universität Tübingen)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology & Alzheimer’s Disease (Tel Aviv University)

Assistant/Associate Professors – Allergic Inflammation and Sensory Neurobiology (North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)


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