Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #44 - November 2013




The Los Angeles Office for Science and Technology (OST) is excited to be participating in two major scientific symposia over the next two months held in San Diego.

The Los Angeles OST will be going to the Society for Neuroscience’s forty-third annual meeting promoting “Neuroscience in France – From Education to Research” alongside many French organizations involved in health and medical research. Whether you are French living abroad or interesting in coming to France as a science undergraduate, PhD, postdoc or senior researcher, do not hesitate to come by our booth to get information about French Neuroscience research and learn about research opportunities in France. There will also be a daily raffle with exciting French prizes.

One month later, the Los Angeles OST is an endorsing partner of the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) 2013 held in San Diego from December 4-6. With the theme “Connect, Collaborate, Cure,” the summit will bring together leaders, innovators, and visionaries in the fields of stem cell and regenerative medicine. The three-day event will include poster presentations, public forums, panel discussions, and keynotes by doctors and researchers from around the world. Registration is open until December 1.

More information can be found toward the end of this newsletter.

Gregory Disse, Science and Technology Intern
Viviane Chansavang, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Fabien Agenes, Attaché for Science and Technology

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




October 9, 2013 : New strategy to treat multiple sclerosis shows promise in mice
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identifies a set of compounds that may be used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) in a new way. Unlike existing MS therapies that suppress the immune system, the compounds boost a population of progenitor cells that can in turn repair MS-damaged nerve fibers.

To access the full article :

October 10, 2013 : Researchers discover innate virus-killing power in mammals

Findings by UC Riverside’s Shou-Wei Ding could help create vaccines against deadly infections, including SARS, West Nile, dengue, Hepatitis C and influenza.

To access the full article :

October 10, 2013 : Eat more, weigh less : worm study provides clues to better fat-loss therapies for humans

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered key details of a brain-to-body signaling circuit that enables roundworms to lose weight independently of food intake.

To access the full article :

October 11, 2013 : UC Irvine scientists help identify possible botulism blocker

U.S. and German scientists have decoded a key molecular gateway for the toxin that causes botulism, pointing the way to treatments that can keep the food-borne poison out of the bloodstream.

To access the full article :

October 16, 2013 : Salk scientists expand the genetic code of mammals to control protein activity in neurons with light

A new technique allows researchers to activate proteins in the brain by shining an LED light on them.

To access the full article :

October 16, 2013 : Keck School charts effects of genetic mutation linked to Alzheimer’s

People who carry a genetic mutation associated with Alzheimer’s disease may develop the disease three years earlier than expected, according to a new study from Keck Medicine of USC.

To access the full article :

October 17, 2013 : Vitamin D does not contribute to kidney stones, study suggests

Increased vitamin D levels may prevent a wide range of diseases, according to recent studies. However, some previous studies led to a concern that vitamin D supplementation could increase an individual’s risk of developing kidney stones.

To access the full article :

October 21, 2013 : Study identifies safe delivery system for tricky yet potent anti-cancer compound

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a way to effectively deliver staurosporine (STS), a powerful anti-cancer compound that has vexed researchers for more than 30 years due to its instability in the blood and toxic nature in both healthy and cancerous cells.

To access the full article :

October 21, 2013 : UCLA scientist uncovers biological clock able to measure age of most human tissues

Everyone grows older, but scientists don’t really understand why. Now a UCLA study has uncovered a biological clock embedded in our genomes that may shed light on why our bodies age and how we can slow the process.

To access the full article :

October 23, 2013 : Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal differences between humans and great apes

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have, for the first time, taken chimpanzee and bonobo skin cells and turned them into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a type of cell that has the ability to form any other cell or tissue in the body.

To access the full article :

October 23, 2013 : New eye treatment effective in laboratory tests

Promising new approach may lead to treatments for common eye diseases like neurovascular macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

To access the full article :

October 23, 2013 : UCLA sleep apnea study uncovers more hidden dangers for women

Researchers found that the body’s ability to control blood pressure, heart rate and sweating is weaker in people with sleep apnea but is even more diminished in women.

To access the full article :

October 24, 2013 : Gene variant raises risk for colorectal cancer

A common genetic variant that affects one in three people significantly increases the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of red meat and processed meat, according to a study presented at the annual American Society of Human Genetics meeting, the largest gathering of human geneticists in the world.

To access the full article :

October 24, 2013 : Experimental drug reduces brain damage in rodents

An experimental drug called 3K3A-APC appears to reduce brain damage, eliminate brain hemorrhaging and improve motor skills in older stroke-afflicted mice and stroke-afflicted rats with comorbid conditions such as hypertension, according to a new study from Keck Medicine of USC.

To access the full article :

October 27, 2013 : Instead of waiting for donor organs, patients could have new ones grown in the lab

A "bold" project at the UA aims to change the landscape of transplant medicine by developing a way to grow a patient’s own stem cells on the skeleton of a discarded organ that has been cleaned of the donor’s living cells. The work is headed by UA researcher Dr. Zain Khalpey.

To access the full article :


October 17, 2013 : Brain may flush out toxins during sleep

Researchers showed for the first time that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing the brain to flush out toxins that build up during waking hours. These results suggest a new role for sleep in health and disease.

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October 18, 2013 : Tanning gene linked to increased risk of testicular cancer, according to NIH scientists

A gene important in skin tanning has been linked to higher risk for testicular cancer in white men, according to a study led by scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford in England. Nearly 80 percent of white men carry a variant form of this gene, which increased risk of testicular cancer up to threefold in the study.

To access the full article :

October 25, 2013 : FDA approves second brain imaging drug to help evaluate patients for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia

The U.S. Food and Drug today approved Vizamyl, a radioactive diagnostic drug for use with PET imaging of the brain in adults being evaluated for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

To access the full article :



October 1, 2013 : Depression does not expose someone to a greater risk of cancer

The impact of depression on a person contracting cancer has long been suspected, without any study having definitely confirmed or rejected this theory. The links have now been investigated by Cédric Lemogne, a member of the team headed by Marie Zins (Inserm’s Mixed Research Unit 1018 “Epidemiology and Population Health Research Centre”, AP-HP, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin), who monitored 14,203 people between 1994 and 2009, including 1119 who developed cancer as diagnosed by a doctor. All of the absences from work for depression, certified by doctors, were recorded as well as many questionnaires measuring depressive moods. The results, which will be published in The American Journal of Epidemiology, do not indicate any significant association between a person experiencing the symptoms of depression during their lifetime and their subsequently contracting cancer.

To access the full article :

October 7, 2013 : Gene movements observed in vivo

Certain parts of DNA are highly mobile and their dynamic motion participates in controlling gene expression. The research team working under Maria‐Elena Torres‐Padilla, an Inserm research director at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (Inserm/CNRS/University of Strasbourg), has just developed a method of observing the organisation and movements of the genome in time and space. The researchers succeeded in marking then monitoring parent genes during cell division. This new method will be a great step forwards to understanding the resulting processes that control gene regulation.

To access the full article :

October 10, 2013 : A bacterium reveals the crucible of its metallurgical activity

An international consortium led by CEA researchers in collaboration with the CNRS, has succeeded in characterizing the structure and function of a protein involved in the production of magnetite nanomagnets in magnetotactic bacteria. This protein, MamP, is crucial to the metallurgical activity of the bacterium. It is this protein that gives the magnetite its magnetic properties. This work constitutes an important advance in the understanding of these bacteria and the magnetite biomineralization process. It is expected to result in the development of additional biotechnological applications for these nanomagnets, especially in the fields of medical imaging and the decontamination of water. These results were published on the Nature website on October 6, 2013.

To access the full article :

October 10, 2013 : Two forms of Parkinson’s disease identified

Why can the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease vary so greatly from one patient to another ? A consortium of researchers, headed by a team from the Laboratoire CNRS d’Enzymologie et Biochimie Structurales1, is well on the way to providing an explanation. Parkinson’s disease is caused by a protein known as alpha-synuclein, which forms aggregates within neurons, killing them eventually. The researchers have succeeded in characterizing and producing two different types of alpha-synuclein aggregates. Better still, they have shown that one of these two forms is much more toxic than the other and has a greater capacity to invade neurons. This discovery takes account, at the molecular scale, of the existence of alpha-synuclein accumulation profiles that differ from one patient to the next. These results, published on October 10 in Nature Communications, represent a notable advance in our understanding of Parkinson’s disease and pave the way for the development of specific therapies targeting each form of the disease.

To access the full article :





Gene Regulation by Multi-tasking RNA Binding Proteins in Mammalian Genomes
November 13, 4:00pm
Tamkin Student Lecture Building, Room F-114
Featured Speaker : Dr. Xiang-Dong Fu, UCSD

New Insights into Lupus Pathogenesis
November 14, 12:00pm
Tamkin Hall, F-114
Featured Speaker : Dwight Kono, M.D.

World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego – December 4-6, 2013

The Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles is an endorsing partner of the World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) 2013 held in San Diego from December 4-6. With the theme “Connect, Collaborate, Cure,” summit will bring together leaders, innovators, and visionaries in the fields of stem cell and regenerative medicine who are committed to accelerating the discovery and development of lifesaving cures and therapies. The three-day event will include poster presentations, public forums, panel discussions, and keynotes by doctors and researchers from around the world. Registration is open until December 1. More information can be found in the links below or following the event’s Twitter (@WSCSummit).

Event website : http://www.worldstemcellsummit.com
Registration : https://www.etouches.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=52938&


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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.

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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.


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Dernière modification : 23/02/2016

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