Volume 6.01 | Jan 11

Neural Cell News 6.01, January 11, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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Naturally Produced Protein Could Boost Brain Repair
Scientists have discovered that a protein produced by blood vessels in the brain could be used to help the brain repair itself after injury or disease. The protein, called Betacellulin, was found to boost brain regeneration in mice by stimulating the organ’s stem cells to multiply and form new nerve cells. [Press release from Medical Research Council discussing online prepublication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States] Press Release | Abstract

Listen Now: New Podcast on ALDH in Breast Cancer Treatment Response  
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Adult Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Can Be Activated into a Multipotent Stem Cell that Produces Mesenchymal Derivatives
This study establishes the retinal pigment epithelial stem cell as an accessible, human CNS-derived multipotent stem cell, useful for the study of fate choice, replacement therapy, and disease modeling. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Rejuvenation of Regeneration in the Aging Central Nervous System
Here investigators show that remyelination of experimentally induced demyelination is enhanced in old mice exposed to a youthful systemic milieu through heterochronic parabiosis. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Press Release

Diazepam Binding Inhibitor Promotes Progenitor Proliferation in the Postnatal SVZ by Reducing GABA Signaling
Here researchers identify the endogenous protein diazepam binding inhibitor as a positive modulator of subventricular zone (SVZ) postnatal neurogenesis by regulating GABA activity in transit-amplifying cells. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract

Somatic Progenitor Cell Vulnerability to Mitochondrial DNA Mutagenesis Underlies Progeroid Phenotypes in Polg Mutator Mice
Researchers found that Polg-Mutator mice had neural (NSC) and hematopoietic progenitor (HPC) dysfunction already from embryogenesis. N-acetyl-L-cysteine treatment rescued both NSC and HPC abnormalities, suggesting that subtle ROS/redox changes, induced by mtDNA mutagenesis, modulate somatic stem cell function. [Cell Metab] Abstract | Press Release

Rett Syndrome Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Reveal Novel Neurophysiological Alterations
Here, investigators describe the first characterization and neuronal differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells derived from methyl-CpG-binding protein 2-deficient mice. [Molecular Psychiatry] Abstract

NAB-1 Instructs Synapse Assembly by Linking Adhesion Molecules and F-Actin to Active Zone Proteins
Using Caenorhabditis elegans, scientists identify an F-actin network present at nascent presynaptic terminals and required for presynaptic assembly. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Cell-Type-Based Analysis of MicroRNA Profiles in the Mouse Brain
To systematically analyze microRNA (miRNA) expression in neurons, investigators have established a miRNA tagging and affinity-purification method that is targeted to cell types through the Cre-loxP binary system in mice. [Neuron] Abstract

RP58 Controls Neuron and Astrocyte Differentiation by Downregulating the Expression of Id1–4 Genes in the Developing Cortex
Here, scientists report that a transcriptional factor, RP58, negatively regulates all four inhibitor of differentiation (Id) genes (Id1Id4) in developing cerebral cortex. [EMBO J] Abstract

GABA Signaling Promotes Synapse Elimination and Axon Pruning in Developing Cortical Inhibitory Interneurons
Scientists have combined live imaging of cortical GABAergic axons across time scales from minutes to days with single-cell genetic manipulation of GABA release to examine its role in distinct steps of inhibitory synapse formation in the mouse neocortex. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Loss of Circadian Clock Accelerates Aging in Neurodegeneration-Prone Mutants
Investigators examined the effects of circadian disruption in Drosophila melanogaster mutants that display clock-unrelated neurodegenerative phenotypes. [Neurobiol Dis] Abstract | Press Release

Cyp26b1 Mediates Differential Neurogenicity in Axial-Specific Populations of Adult Spinal Cord Progenitor Cells
In this study, researchers demonstrate that adult mouse spinal cord progenitor cells (SCPCs) express distinct combinatorial Hox genes and exhibit axial-specific stem cell properties. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Organically Modified Silica Nanoparticles Are Biocompatible and Can Be Targeted to Neurons In Vivo
Here investigators test the potential of a novel silica based nanoparticle (organically modified silica, ORMOSIL) in living neurons within a whole organism. [PLoS One] Abstract | Press Release

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Wylie Vale, Salk Scientist, Pioneer and Leader, Dies at 70
Dr. Wylie Vale died January 3 while on vacation in Hana, Hawaii. Vale was head of the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology and the Helen McLoraine Chair in Molecular Neurobiology at the Salk. [Salk Institute for Biological Studies] Press Release

Ed Boyden Wins Newly Established A F Harvey Prize
Ed Boyden has been named by the UK-based Institute of Engineering and Technology as the first winner of the newly established A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize. Boyden was awarded the prize for his pioneering research contributions to the field of optogenetics, in which neurons are genetically modified to respond to light. [McGovern Institute for Brain Research] Press Release

NIH Renews Grant for Study of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Crucial research on the mechanisms of protein folding and stabilization, important factors in understanding the underlying causes of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, amyloidoses and some forms of autism, was given another funding green light by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. [University of Miami Miller School of Medicine] Press Release

Michelle Spence Named New AMGA Vice President of Public Policy
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced that Michelle Spence is joining the organization as Vice President of Public Policy, effective immediately. [The American Medical Group Association]
Press Release

FDA Warns About Stem Cell Claims
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions consumers to make sure that any stem cell treatment they are considering has been approved by FDA or is being studied under a clinical investigation that has been submitted to and allowed to proceed by FDA. [Food and Drug Administration, United States] 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)

NEW 8th Annual Swiss Stem Cell Network Meeting
February 10, 2012
Zurich, Switzerland

NEW Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference 2012
February 19-23, 2012
San Francisco, United States

NEW The 2012 Stem Cell Discussion Forum
May 18, 2012
London, United Kingdom

NEW Gordon Research Conference: Barriers of the CNS – Bridging Barriers to Treat CNS Disease
June 17-22, 2012
New London, United States

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


Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies) 

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientific Marketing Communications Specialist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Technologist, Manufacturing Sciences (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Adult Neurogenesis and Neural Signaling (University of Kentucky)

Postdoctoral Position – Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Neural Stem Cells (The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)

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