Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #40 - July 2013


On July 14th, 2013, France will celebrate Bastille Day, also known as “le 14 juillet”. The Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles is partnering with the University of California, San Diego to organize two scientific events this month. From July 8th to 12th 2013, the “International French-US Workshop : Toward low power spintronic devices” will be held on the UCSD campus. This workshop aims to bring together scientific and engineering communities in the field of spintronics for discussion and collaboration. During this workshop on July 11th, a round table will take place where invited attendees will discuss collaboration opportunities in the domains of research and higher education. Then, on July 15th also on the UCSD campus, the symposium “Mapping the Brain : European and US Perspectives” will take place. This symposium intends to promote the collaborations between the researchers contributing to the American and European brain research projects, the “BRAIN Initiative” and the “Human Brain Project,” respectively.

For more information about the “Toward low power spintronic devices” workshop please click on the following link : http://nanomag.ucsd.edu/iwst/index.html.

For more information about the “Mapping the Brain : European and US Perspectives” symposium please click on the following link : http://www.france-science.org/Brain-Symposium-European-and-US.html.

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 July 2013 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.


The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles is pleased to announce that various events will take place for Bastille Day across the American Southwest region. A list of events can be found on the Consulate’s website (in French).




June 3, 2013 : Potential New Way to Suppress Tumor Growth Discovered

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center, have identified a new mechanism that appears to suppress tumor growth, opening the possibility of developing a new class of anti-cancer drugs.

To access the full article :

June 5, 2013 : Fat chance : Scientists unexpectedly discover stress-resistant stem cells in adipose tissue

Researchers from the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology have isolated a new population of primitive, stress-resistant human pluripotent stem cells that are easily derived from fat tissue and are able to differentiate into virtually every cell type in the human body without genetic modification.

To access the full article :

June 10, 2013 : Caltech’s Unique Wind Projects Move Forward

Caltech fluid-mechanics expert John Dabiri has some big plans for a high school in San Pedro, military bases in California, and a small village on Bristol Bay, Alaska—not to mention for the future of wind power generation, in general.

To access the full article :

June 13, 2013 : Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss, UC Irvine and others show

Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves, not icebergs calving into the sea, are responsible for most of the continent’s ice loss, a study by UC Irvine and others has found.

To access the full article :

June 13, 2013 : Hormone therapy for endometrial cancer targets connective tissue, not tumor cells

The female hormone progesterone has been used for several decades as a therapy for endometrial cancer, which starts in the lining of the uterus. Yet scientists didn’t understand the mechanisms behind the therapy or its site of action.

To access the full article :

June 17, 2013 : Using the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary

Boys with autism showed significant improvement after six months of simple sensory exercises at home using everyday items such as scents, spoons and sponges, according to UC Irvine neurobiologists.

To access the full article :

June 18, 2013 : Herbal extract boosts fruit fly lifespan by nearly 25 percent, UCI study finds

The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant long used for stress relief was found to increase the lifespan of fruit fly populations by an average of 24 percent, according to UC Irvine researchers.

To access the full article :

June 19, 2013 : What do memories look like ?

Oscar Wilde called memory “the diary that we all carry about with us.” Now a team of scientists has developed a way to see where and how that diary is written.

To access the full article :

June 19, 2013 : Fate of the Heart : Researchers Track Cellular Events Leading to Cardiac Regeneration

In a study published in the June 19 online edition of the journal Nature, a scientific team led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine visually monitored the dynamic cellular events that take place when cardiac regeneration occurs in zebrafish after cardiac ventricular injury. Their findings provide evidence that various cell lines in the heart are more plastic, or capable of transformation into new cell types, than previously thought.

To access the full article :

June 24, 2013 : All for One : What Makes an Individual

Life as we know it has certain properties that are consistent regardless whether you’re looking at a bacterial colony in a petri dish or a primate colony in South America. Rick Michod, UA professor and department head of ecology and evolutionary biology, has received $1.3 million from NASA to investigate what properties of biology define an individual organism.

To access the full article :

June 25, 2013 : UA One of Only Eight Institutions Selected for Nationwide STEM Initiative

The Association of American Universities has named the UA as one of only eight U.S. institutions funded under a nation-wide initiative designed to improve STEM education.

To access the full article :

June 26, 2013 : A Stepping-Stone for Oxygen on Earth

Caltech researchers find evidence of an early manganese-oxidizing photosystem.

To access the full article :


June 2, 2013 : NIH scientists find link between allergic and autoimmune diseases in mouse study

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues, have discovered that a gene called BACH2 may play a central role in the development of diverse allergic and autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and type-1 diabetes. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks normal cells and tissues in the body that are generally recognized as “self” and do not normally trigger immune responses. Autoimmunity can occur in infectious diseases and cancer.

To access the full article :

June 21, 2013 : FDA obtains waiver from European Commission to facilitate export for U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that the U.S. is now a “listed” country with the European Commission (EC) so that U.S. companies need not obtain an export certificate from the FDA before shipping certain pharmaceutical products to Europe.

To access the full article :

June 24, 2013 : Improving Gene Therapy for Eye Diseases

Researchers developed a less invasive technique that delivers genes across the retinas of mouse and monkey eyes. With further development, the method might be used in people to treat inherited diseases that cause the retina to degenerate and impair sight.

To access the full article :

June 24, 2013 : Brain Scan May Predict Best Depression Treatment

A brain imaging technique may help predict whether people with major depression will respond best to treatment with psychotherapy or a commonly prescribed drug. The approach might eventually be used as a tool to identify treatments that are most likely to succeed.

To access the full article :

June 25, 2013 : Vietnam vets with PTSD more than twice as likely to have heart disease

Male twin Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were more than twice as likely as those without PTSD to develop heart disease during a 13-year period, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

To access the full article :

June 25, 2013 : FDA announces first decisions on new tobacco products through the substantial equivalence pathway

For the first time since the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products, the agency has authorized the marketing of two new tobacco products and denied the marketing of four others through the substantial equivalence (SE) pathway.

To access the full article :

June 26, 2013 : NIH to reduce significantly the use of chimpanzees in research

The National Institutes of Health plans to substantially reduce the use of chimpanzees in NIH-funded biomedical research and designate for retirement most of the chimpanzees it currently owns or supports. NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. accepted most of the recommendations made by an independent advisory council for implementing a set of principles and criteria defined by the Institute of Medicine for the use of chimpanzees in NIH-funded research.

To access the full article :



June 3, 2013 : Worldwide Outbreak of Highly Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella Risks Spreading to European Poultry Farms

In a study published online May 28th for the Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal, scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the Institut Pasteur in Morocco once again bring attention to the rapid worldwide spread of Salmonella Kentucky (S. Kentucky), a bacterium showing resistance to several classes of antibiotics. S. Kentucky is responsible for foodborne infections and has spread at an astonishing rate throughout Africa and the Middle East in the space of only a few years. In this study, the authors note that the bacterium has recently spread to India and South-East Asia and has acquired new resistance, particularly resistance to antibiotics of “last resort”. The scientists also point out the considerable risk of this multi-resistant strain spreading to farmed poultry in industrialized countries. This bacterium has already been detected in farmed turkeys in Europe.

To access the full article :

June 7, 2013 : Optogenetics is proving to be highly promising in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders

Thanks to work carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Eric Burguière, an Inserm researcher working in the MHI research centre and his co-workers have succeeded in reducing the compulsive behaviour of mice using optogenetics, a technique that combines light stimulation with genetic engineering. By applying light stimulation to highly specific neurons in the brain, the researchers managed to re-establish normal behaviour in mice that had beforehand presented pathological repetitive behaviour similar to that observed in human patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders.

To access the full article :

June 10, 2013 : Early exposure to bisphenol A might damage the enamel of teeth

Are teeth the latest victims of bisphenol A ? Yes, according to the conclusions of work carried out by the research team led by Ariane Berdal of the Université Paris-Diderot and Sylvie Babajko, Research Director at Inserm Unit 872 “Centre des Cordeliers”. The researchers have shown that the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA could be damaged by this. Analysis of the damage shows numerous characteristics that are common with a recently identified pathology of tooth enamel that affects roughly 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8.

To access the full article :

June 17, 2013 : New minimalist and efficient photovoltaic molecules

What is the simplest molecule capable of transforming solar energy into electricity ? A team from the Institut des Sciences et Technologies Moléculaires d’Angers (Moltech-Anjou, CNRS/Université d’Angers) found the answer. The researchers demonstrated that extremely simple molecules, produced in few steps with very good synthesis yields, could become credible alternatives to the more complex molecules and polymers currently used to produce organic solar cells. Their work, published online in Advanced Functional Materials and Chemistry : A European Journal, has made it possible to obtain molecules of low molecular weight with an electrical conversion efficiency above 4 %. In this way, they have shown that by optimizing simple molecules, it should be possible to go from fundamental research to the industrial production of solar devices manufactured from organic molecules.

To access the full article :

June 26, 2013 : Hydrogen technologies : new process uses enzymes as catalysts

For the first time, a research team from the CEA1, Collège de France, CNRS and Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble has developed an efficient process for in vitro activation of an enzyme, hydrogenase, which is found in microorganisms that use hydrogen as a source of energy. This was made possible by combining approaches from biomimetic and protein chemistry. The results will lead to use of the wide variety of hydrogenase enzymes found in nature, and even the possibility of ’invented’ artificial enzymes over the long term, which may potentially serve as catalysts for fuel cells or the production of hydrogen from sources of renewable energy.

To access the full article :





Caltech Library Workshop : “Life Sciences Information Resources
July 16, 2013, 2:00 pm
Sherman Fairchild Library, multimedia conference room
Registration : http://library.caltech.edu/forms/cls-classes.php
For further information, please contact Donna Wrublewski at dtwrublewski@library.caltech.edu

Special Inorganic Chemistry Seminar
Modification of Hemoproteins to Generate New Catalysts and Bionanomaterials
July 29, 2013, 4:00 pm
147 Noyes, J. Holmes Sturdivant Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker : Takashi Hayashi, Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry, Osaka University
For further information, please contact Patricia Anderson at pea@its.caltech.edu


The von Kármán Lecture Series : 2013
Exploring the Extreme Universe with NuSTAR
July 18, 7:00 pm
The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
July 19, 7:00 pm
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
Featured Speaker : Daniel Stern, NuSTAR Project Scientist, JPL


Salk Women & Science
July 23, 2013, 1:00 pm
Featured Speaker : Ursula Bellugi, Ph.D.
For further information, please contact Betsy Reis at (858) 500-4883


Drug-eluting Cardiovascular Stents : Dynamics of Drug Release from Different Polymer Systems
July 19, 2013, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
BCC1 – W.M. Keck Foundation Amphitheater
Featured Speaker : Cynthia A. Maryanoff, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Fellow, Johnson & Johnson
For further information, please contact calendar@scripps.edu

Biosupramolecules (th)at Work
July 25, 2013, 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Featured Speaker : Dr. Stefan Matile, Professor, Department of Organic Chemistry ; Advanced Investigator, ERC, University of Geneva
For further information, please contact calendar@scripps.edu


Creating a Healthy Life : Opening Reception
July 13, 2013, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
USC Institute for Genetic Medicine, 2250 Alcazar Street
Second Floor Art Gallery
Featured speaker : Dr. Howard Murad
For further information, please contact lynn.crandall@gmail.com


In order to celebrate Bastille Day in style, please visit the following webpage, with a list of events occurring on July 14th, 2013, near and around Los Angeles, as well as in the American Southwest region : Bastille Day Celebrations (in French).


AEC BIOMED FORUM 2013 IN BANGKOK – November 14-16, 2013

AEC Biomedical Innovation Forum 2013
An International Conference and Exhibition on Health Technology for Development
14 - 16 November 2013
Ballroom I & II, Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand

AEC Biomedical Innovation Forum 2013 is an international conference and exhibition on health technology for development with the objective to provide an international platform for knowledge and networking exchange in the biomedical industry in ASEAN. The forum will address the critical issues to successfully facilitate the transfer and implementation of innovative health technologies by addressing some of the locally-relevant healthcare challenges. This conference will offer a comprehensive overview of the biomedical industry in AEC market, with the main focus on challenges and opportunities in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Local and international companies will present the latest innovation and technologies that could solve healthcare problems. Funding bodies will discuss funding schemes that would result in highest benefit on all stakeholders.


For more information, please go to the Conference’s official website.

To register for this conference, please go to the online registration page.


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.

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Dernière modification : 10/07/2013

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