Volume 4.33 | Aug 25

Neural Cell News 4.33, August 25, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Study Explains Why Alzheimer’s Drug is Both Safe and Effective  ShareThis
Scientists uncover new clues to the molecular action of memantine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, that show why side effects are rare. [Press release from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Neuroscience]

Culture human glioblastoma-derived tumorspheres
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*Piccirillo et al., Nature, 2006.
*Gallia et al., Mol Cancer Ther, 2009.
*McGillicuddy et al., Cancer Cell, 2009.
*Zheng et al., Cancer Cell, 2010.
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Researchers Connect APC Protein to Autism and Mental Retardation
According to neuroscientists, a protein called APC (adenomatous polyposis coli) plays a key role in synapse maturation, and APC dysfunction prevents the synapse function required for typical learning and memory. [Press release from Tufts University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Neuroscience]

Preliminary Data in Support of Investigational Anti-JCV Antibody Assay Published in the Annals of Neurology
Biogen Idec and Elan Corporation, plc announced data has been published on an investigational, two-step assay to detect anti-JC virus (JCV) antibodies in human serum and plasma. [Press release from Biogen Idec discussing online prepublication in the Annals of Neurology]

Human Neural Stem Cells Restore Motor Function in Mice with Chronic Spinal Cord Injury
A University of California, Irvine study is the first to demonstrate that human neural stem cells can restore mobility in cases of chronic spinal cord injury, suggesting the prospect of treating a much broader population of patients. [Press release from the University of California, Irvine discussing online prepublication in PLoS ONE]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Whole-Exome Sequencing Identifies Recessive WDR62 Mutations in Severe Brain Malformations
Here scientists demonstrate the use of whole-exome sequencing to overcome obstacles by identifying recessive mutations in WD repeat domain 62 (WDR62) as the cause of a wide spectrum of severe cerebral cortical malformations including microcephaly, pachygyria with cortical thickening as well as hypoplasia of the corpus callosum. [Nature ]

Altered Distributions of Gemini of Coiled Bodies and Mitochondria in Motor Neurons of TDP-43 Transgenic Mice
Here investigators use both gain- and loss-of-function approaches to determine roles of TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) in motor neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Assessment of JC Virus DNA in Blood and Urine from Natalizumab-Treated Patients
Analyses were conducted to determine the clinical utility of measuring JC virus DNA in blood or urine of natalizumab-treated multiple sclerosis patients to predict the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. [Ann Neurol]

Memantine Preferentially Blocks Extrasynaptic Over Synaptic NMDA Receptor Currents in Hippocampal Autapses
Here, using rat autaptic hippocampal microcultures, researchers show that memantine at therapeutic concentrations (1-10 µM) preferentially blocks extrasynaptic rather than synaptic currents mediated by NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors in the same neuron. [J Neurosci]

The Postsynaptic Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) Multiprotein Complex is Required for Localizing Neuroligin and Neurexin to Neuronal Nicotinic Synapses in Vivo
Investigators hypothesize that the APC complex also provides retrograde signals that direct presynaptic active zones to develop in register with postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor clusters. [J Neurosci]

The Novel Protein MANI Modulates Neurogenesis and Neurite-Cone Growth
In the present study, scientists describe the novel protein Myelin-Associated Neurite-outgrowth Inhibitor (MANI) that localizes to neural membranes. [J Cell Mol Med]

Human Neural Stem Cells Differentiate and Promote Locomotor Recovery in an Early Chronic Spinal Cord Injury NOD-scid Mouse Model
Researchers tested the ability of human neural stem cells transplanted 30 days post spinal cord injury to survive, differentiate, migrate, and promote improved locomotor recovery. [PLoS One]


Stem Cell Agency Commits $243 Million, Expands Team Approach to Developing New Therapies
The Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine approved the concept for up to $243 million round of funding to move stem cell-based therapies to clinical trial. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

MDA Awards More Than $14 Million in Research Grants
Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has awarded 38 new research grants totaling more than $14 million and covering more than a dozen neuromuscular diseases. [MDA Press Release]

Biogen Idec and Knopp Neurosciences Announce License Agreement for Late-Stage ALS Drug Candidate
Biogen Idec and Knopp Neurosciences announced they have entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement under which Biogen Idec will develop and commercialize KNS-760704 (dexpramipexole) for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and potentially other indications. [Biogen Idec Press Release]


FDA, Companies Must Stretch Overseas Supply Oversight
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to stretch its enforcement reach over foreign drug suppliers, potentially through consent decrees, and is asking manufacturers to take bigger steps as well to tighten the pharmaceutical supply chain. [Food and Drug Administration, United States] 

Lawrence A. Tabak Named Principal Deputy Director NIH
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the appointment of Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., as principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health. [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) (R01) (RFA-GM-11-003) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Proposed Collection; Comment Request; STAR METRICS–Science and Technology in America’s Reinvestment: Measuring the Effects of Research on Innovation, Competitiveness and Science (FR Doc. 2010-20614) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-20287) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2010-20588) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

NIH-RAID Updates on Program Scope and Procedures: Biologics Manufacture, Lead Selection, and Product Development Plans (NOT-RM-10-012) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Support of National Institute of General Medical Sciences Program Project Grants (P01) (PAR-10-266) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

EVENTS (Listed by Date)

BIOSPINE 3 – 3rd World Congress on Biotechnologies for Spinal Surgery
September 1-4, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

EMBO/EMBL Structures and Function of Neural Circuits
September 5-8, 2010
Heidelberg, Germany

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT)-Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

Joint Metastasis Research Society – American Association of Cancer Research Conference on Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment
September 12-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT) Congress
September 27-29, 2010
Doha, Qatar

4th American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development
September 27-30, 2010
Denver, United States

6th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair
October 1-4, 2010
Rostock, Germany

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

18th Annual BioPartnering Europe
October 10-12, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Institute for Genomic Medicine Inaugural Symposium
October 11-12, 2010
San Diego, United States

5th Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference
October 12-13, 2010
New York City, United States

Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
October 17-22, 2010
Boston, United States

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2010
November 13-17, 2010
San Diego, United States

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

The American Society for Cell Biology 50th Annual Meeting
December 11-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Adult Neurogenesis
January 9-14, 2011
Taos, New Mexico

Select Biosciences 5th Annual Stem Cells World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

Phacilitate 7th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2011
January 24-26, 2011
Washington, DC, United States

Trends in Central Nervous System Malignancies
March 25-26, 2011
Bucharest, Romania

Wiring the Brain: Making Connections
April 12-15, 2011
Powerscourt, Ireland

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


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