Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #38 - May 2013


Recently, Annick Coudart, a research professor at Arizona State University, was awarded a lifetime service medal by France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in honor of her extensive work for the organization. Coudart has worked with the CNRS since 1978 and has been the Director of Research for the organization since 1992. Coudart received her Ph.D. in prehistoric ethnology with honors from the University of Paris I in 1987 and since then has been a leading contributor in the progress and reformation of her field. Coudart has performed thorough research concerning ancient cultures in Mexico, Papua New Guinea, and the Aisne Valley in France. In addition, Coudart created a new excavation technique that adds manual synchronous scraping of the sterile soil above the archaeological levels to the mechanical scraping performed by a backhoe. The archaeologist has also published papers in numerous academic journals in both French and English, has written five archaeology books in French, and is currently working on her first book in English. Coudart received the lifetime service medal at a ceremony in Paris in March.

Christine Stafford, Science and Technology Intern
Aurelie Perthuison, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Fabien Agenes, Attaché for Science and Technology

To read the full version of the May 2013 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




April 1, 2013 : Southern California sagebrush better suited to climate change, UCI study finds

California sagebrush in the southern part of the state will adjust better to climate change than sagebrush populations in the north, according to UC Irvine researchers in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology affiliated with the Center for Environmental Biology.

To access the full article :

April 8, 2013 : Research Reveals Possible Reason for Cholesterol-Drug Side Effects

UA researchers have identified a clue to explain the reversible memory loss sometimes caused by the use of statins, one of the most widely prescribed medications in the world.

To access the full article :

April 9, 2013 : Experts address impact of climate change at USC Price forum

Prominent scientists and local leaders converged on the USC Price School of Public Policy on April 8 for a sobering discussion of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) draft report.

To access the full article :

April 10, 2013 : Brain Imaging Studies Reveal Neurobiology of Eating Disorders

Current treatments for anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which afflict an estimated 10 to 24 million Americans, are often limited and ineffective. Patients relapse. They become chronically ill. They face a higher risk of dying.

To access the full article :

April 11, 2013 : The Strikingly Similar Brains of Flies and Men

Decision-making centers in the brains of insects and mammals share too many similarities to have evolved independently, according to comparative studies led by UA neuroscientist Nick Strausfeld. The findings may help better understand the mechanisms underlying diseases such as Parkinson’s.

To access the full article :

April 17, 2013 : ASU archaeologist honored by France’s National Center for Scientific Research

Arizona State University archaeologist Anick Coudart has been awarded a lifetime service medal by France’s National Center for Scientific Research, for which she served as a senior research director.

To access the full article :

April 19, 2013 : Quest for Edible Malarial Vaccine Leads to Other Potential Medical Uses for Algae

Can scientists rid malaria from the Third World by simply feeding algae genetically engineered with a vaccine ?

To access the full article :

April 22, 2013 : Method makes it easier to separate useful stem cells from ‘problem’ ones for therapies

Pluripotent stem cells can turn, or differentiate, into any cell type in the body, such as nerve, muscle or bone, but inevitably some of these stem cells fail to differentiate and end up mixed in with their newly differentiated daughter cells.

To access the full article :

April 23, 2013 : UCLA receives major federal contract to study potential new autism drugs

UCLA has been awarded a $9 million contract by the National Institute of Mental Health for an ambitious effort to rapidly study promising new drugs that may help restore normal development and brain function in children with autism spectrum disorders.

To access the full article :

April 25, 2013 : Fifty Years of Clearing the Skies

Ringed by mountains and capped by a temperature inversion that traps bad air, Los Angeles has had bouts of smog since the turn of the 20th century. An outbreak in 1903 rendered the skies so dark that many people mistook it for a solar eclipse. Angelenos might now be living in a state of perpetual midnight—assuming we could live here at all—were it not for the work of Caltech Professor of Bio-organic Chemistry Arie Jan Haagen-Smit. How he did it is told here largely in his own words, excerpted from Caltech’sEngineering & Science magazine between 1950 and 1962.

To access the full article :

April 25, 2013 : Longer Days Bring ‘Winter Blues’ – For Rats, Not Humans

Most of us are familiar with the “winter blues,” the depression-like symptoms known as “seasonal affective disorder,” or SAD, that occurs when the shorter days of winter limit our exposure to natural light and make us more lethargic, irritable and anxious. But for rats it’s just the opposite.

To access the full article :

April 26, 2013 : Network of scientists report ‘squishy’ cells in new cancer research paper

A team of student researchers and their professors from 20 laboratories around the country are seeing a new view of cancer cells.

To access the full article :


April 16, 2013 : FDA approves abuse-deterrent labeling for reformulated OxyContin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved updated labeling for Purdue Pharma L.P.’s reformulated OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride controlled-release) tablets. The new labeling indicates that the product has physical and chemical properties that are expected to make abuse via injection difficult and to reduce abuse via the intranasal route (snorting).

To access the full article :

April 22, 2013 : Seeing Into the Brain

Researchers developed a technique that preserves the brain’s 3-D structure down to the molecular level. The accomplishment allows study of the brain’s inner workings at a scale never before possible.

To access the full article :

April 22, 2013 : Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Involves Gut Microbes

The link between red meat consumption and heart disease, a study suggests, may stem from gut microbes breaking down carnitine, a compound found in red meat.

To access the full article :

April 24, 2013 : FDA launches partnership to protect against counterfeit anti-malarial medicines zith FDA-developed handheld detection tool

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced a public-private partnership to help identify counterfeit or substandard anti-malarial medicines, including falsified products, with the deployment of the FDA-developed Counterfeit Detection Device, called CD-3.

To access the full article :

April 25, 2013 : Suppressing protein may stem Alzheimer’s disease process

Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered a potential strategy for developing treatments to stem the disease process in Alzheimer’s disease. It’s based on unclogging removal of toxic debris that accumulates in patients’ brains, by blocking activity of a little-known regulator protein called CD33.

To access the full article :

April 26, 2013 : NIH and Children’s National Medical Center open new cardiac intervention suite

A new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to pediatric cardiac imaging and intervention, co-established by the National Institutes of Health and Children’s National Medical Center, was opened with a special dedication ceremony today. The new facility, located at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., is the culmination of a long collaboration combining the cardiac imaging expertise at the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) with the renowned clinical care at Children’s National.

To access the full article :



April 11, 2013 : CNRS/sagascience issues a report on nuclear energy

Coinciding with France’s ongoing debate on energy transition, the CNRS / sagascience collection releases a report on the current state of nuclear energy. This animation gives the public invaluable cues to deciphering nuclear issues and thus take part in the national debate organized between January and April 2013.

To access the full article :

April 12, 2013 : Even in low doses, antibiotics can contribute to the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur and CNRS have shown that the use of low dose antibiotics can increase the emergence of resistance among pathogenic bacteria. They have observed that a low concentration of antibiotics is enough to activate a stress response in these bacteria. This response, known as "SOS", leads to the acquisition of resistance genes via two separate pathways. This work is the subject of an article published online on the Plos Genetics website on April 11.

To access the full article :

April 16, 2013 : Atomic-level characterization of the effects of alcohol on a major player of the central nervous system

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS and the University of Texas have been able to observe at atomic-level the effects of ethanol (the alcohol present in alcoholic beverages) on central nervous system receptors. They have identified five ethanol binding sites in a mutant of a bacterial analog of nicotinic receptors, and have determined how the binding of ethanol stimulates receptor activity. These findings can be directly extrapolated to human GABA receptors (the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters in the human brain), which are ethanol’s main target in the central nervous system. This work is being published online on April 16, on the Nature Communications website. It paves the way for the synthesis of ethanol antagonist compounds that could limit the effect of alcohol on the brain.

To access the full article :

April 18, 2013 : Pollution plumes in Paris air are richer in gaseous aromatic compounds than in Los Angeles

What is the origin of the volatile hydrocarbons, other than methane, present in city air ? Mainly gasoline-powered vehicles1, according to a study carried out by a French-US team2 including French researchers from the Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA/IPSL3, CNRS / UPEC / Université Paris Diderot) and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE/IPSL, CNRS / CEA / Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines). The study also shows that the proportion of gaseous aromatic compounds4 in hydrocarbon emissions is two to three times greater in pollution plumes in Paris than in Los Angeles, even though the total quantity of hydrocarbons emitted in Los Angeles remains considerably greater than in Paris. The research is published in the journal Journal of Geophysical Research.

To access the full article :

April 22, 2013 : The loss of François Jacob, a prominent name in molecular biology

It was with great sadness and regret that the Institut Pasteur learned of the death of François Jacob. A former member of the French Second Armored Division and Companion of the Liberation, François Jacob risked his life to defend the fundamental values of democracy and freedom. He was a brilliant scientist who spent his entire career at the Institut Pasteur and who inspired many researchers who followed in his tracks.

To access the full article :

April 23, 2013 : Tara Oceans Polar Circle : a new scientific expedition in the Arctic

The polar schooner Tara will depart from Lorient on May 19, 2013 for a new expedition : Tara Oceans Polar Circle. A scientific adventure lasting seven months and traveling 25,000kms around the Arctic Ocean via the Northeast and Northwest passages. Supported by the CNRS, CEA, EMBL and other private and public partners, this mission unites biologists and oceanographers. They will focus on plankton biodiversity in the Arctic and other specific issues in this region susceptible to climate changes, at a time when we are witnessing an accelerated summer melting of Arctic sea ice.

To access the full article :





Biochemistry Seminar
How Parkinson’s Disease Starts, and How It Might Be Stopped
May 16, 2013, 4:00 pm
147 Noyes, J. Holmes Sturdivant Lecture Hall
Featured speaker : Gregory Petsko, Gyula and Katica Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University
For further information, please contact Margot Hoyt at hoyt@caltech.edu

Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series
Shu-ou Shan : Decision Making and Quality Control in Early Moments of a Protein’s Life
May 22, 2013, 8:00 pm
Beckman Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Shu-ou Shan, Professor of Chemistry, Caltech

John D. Roberts Lecture
Molecular Probes for the Study of Voltage-Gated Ion Channels
May 30, 2013, 4:00 pm
22 Gates Annex
Featured Speaker : Justin Du Bois, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University


The von Kármán Lecture Series : 2013
Radar Imaging of Near Earth Asteroids
May 9, 2013, 7:00 pm
The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
May 10, 2013, 7:00 pm
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
Featured Speaker : Dr. Lance Benner, Research Scientist, JPL


Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center Symposium
Second Annual Symposium
Single Molecules to Cellular Systems : Juggling Complexity
May 31, 2013, 9:00am – 6:00pm
Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
For further information, and to register for the program please visit the website :


Ubiquitination, immune homeostasis, and autoimmunity
May 16, 2013, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Featured Speaker : Averil Ma, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology UC San Francisco
For further information, please contact calendar@scripps.edu


Center for Virus Research Seminar
May 24, 2013, 12:00pm – 1:00 pm
F114 Tamkin Student Lecture Building
Featured Speaker : Andrew Pekosz, Ph.D., Depts of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology ; Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University
For further information, please email Jo Ellen Brunner at jbrunner@uci.edu


PET/CT Cancer Imaging : Cancers Eat a lot of Sugar
May 14, 2013, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (RRMC)
Auditorium, B Level, Room B130
Featured speaker : Johannes Czernin, M.D., Professor, Vice Chairman Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Director of Nuclear Medicine at UCLA, Chief of the Ahmanson Biological Imaging Division at UCLA


40th EMD Millipore Lectureship
May 22 & 23, 2013, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building
For further information, please contact Michael Ng at dennisoffice@ucsd.edu


USC Mini-symposium : Musculoskeletal Development and Repair
May 20, 2013, 8:00am to 12:30pm
Health Sciences Campus, Broad CIRM Center 101
For further information, please contact Francesca Mariani atfmariani@usc.edu

NEW BOOK – Fear No Numbers

“Fear No Numbers” by Jose Paul Moretto is an innovative book about math that shows a new way of looking at numbers. Moretto introduces two “theorems” called “The Proof by 9 System” and “The MaXima System,” to help students check their work to see if they are solving multiplication and division problems correctly. Moretto’s hope is to help students who struggle with a fear of math to learn a new way of self-checking and correcting to improve the confidence of struggling math students. This book promotes French methods of teaching mathematics.


Please consult Le Fil de Marianne for further information on international calls and job offers.


Les bulletins électroniques
Les articles et les rapports produits par les activités de veille scientifique menées par les Missions Scientifiques et Technologiques dans 40 zones géographiques sont accessibles gratuitement via les Bulletins Electroniques. Ils sont édités par l’Agence pour la Diffusion de l’Information Technologique (ADIT), sur une base mensuelle ou hebdomadaire.

Le Fil de Marianne
Le Fil de Marianne est une publication hebdomadaire des bureaux de l’INSERM et du CNRS aux Etats-Unis. Il offre une information détaillée sur les évolutions de la politique de recherche française, les appels d’offres et les manifestations scientifiques en France. L’abonnement est gratuit.

Le Service pour la Science et la Technologie du Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles
Des informations sur le rôle de notre service au sein de la Mission pour la Science et la technologie (MS&T) peuvent être trouvées sur le site du Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles. Le planning des événements à venir ainsi que nos coordonnées et nos activités, sont également disponibles en ligne.


The Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles
Information about the OST LA’s missions and activities can be found here.


We value your feedback. Please send us your comments and suggestions at deputy-sdv.la@ambascience-usa.org.

Please also subscribe to the following newsletters for more information on the activities of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles :


Subscribe to the monthly French arts and culture newsletter to receive information about shows, exhibitions and much more, by sending an email to : culture@consulfrance-losangeles.org


Subscribe to the monthly French Film and TV newsletter to receive information about projections and events, by sending an email to : frenchfilminla@consulfrance-losangeles.org

Dernière modification : 23/02/2016

Haut de page