Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #46 - January 2014




Happy New Year from the Los Angeles Office for Science and Technology !

On January 13, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla will be hosting a symposium called “Hypothalamic Factors : A Trove for Novel Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications” to celebrate the 90th birthday of 1977 Nobel prize laureate Dr. Roger Guillemin who contributed immensely to beginnings of neuroendocrinology. The event will bring several renowned scientists who will present recent advances in endocrinology followed by a reception. More information and registration instructions can be found at http://www.salk.edu/guillemin.

On Monday, December 2, the French government launched a Worldwide Innovation Challenge, encouraging the talents of today - both France and abroad - to create the collective wealth of tomorrow. Company projects submitted to the Worldwide Innovation Challenge must correspond energy storage, recycling of metals, development of marine resources, plant proteins and plant chemistry, personalized medicine, the silver economy, or big data. More information about submitting a project can be found at http://www.innovation2030.org/en/.

A private organization called the Hello Tomorrow Challenge also launched the same day, with the similar goal of empowering young European innovators to make strides in science and technology. You can apply from now until January 29 to the challenge. Contact Los Angeles ambassador Mathieu Goudot (los-angeles@hello-tomorrow.org) to learn more about local events.

Happy 2014 !

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 January 2014 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




December 2, 2013 : Salk scientists crack riddle of important drug target

New method for determining structure of key cellular receptors could speed drug development.

To access the full article :

December 2, 2013 : Air pollution, genetics combine to increase risk for autism

Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism among people who carry a genetic disposition for the neurodevelopmental disorder, according to newly published research led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

To access the full article :

December 5, 2013 : Brain cancer cells hide while drugs seek.

Tumor cells temporarily lose mutation to evade drugs targeting mutation.

To access the full article :

December 5, 2013 : How mosquitoes are drawn to human skin and breath

UC Riverside researchers identify affordable, safe, and pleasant-smelling compounds that can control spread of mosquito-borne diseases.

To access the full article :

December 5, 2013. Probiotic therapy alleviates autism-like behaviors in mice.

“Traditional research has studied autism as a genetic disorder of the brain, but our work shows that gut bacteria may contribute to ASD-like symptoms in ways that were previously unappreciated.”

To access the full article :

December 10, 2013 : Missing molecule in chemical production line discovered

Salk scientists have uncovered a missing step in how cells make a class of compounds that include commercially important drug and flavor molecules.

To access the full article :

December 11, 2013. Scientists discover chemical modification in human malaria parasite DNA

Findings by UC Riverside researchers could help build a new drug to kill the deadly parasite that is becoming resistant to existing drugs.

To access the full article :

December 13, 2013 : USC study suggests brain blood vessels alter Alzheimer’s progression

New research from USC suggests that cells in the blood-brain barrier may control multiple steps in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These cells, called pericytes, could serve as potential targets for novel Alzheimer’s treatments.

To access the full article :

December 17, 2013 : UCLA study challenges long-held hypothesis that iron promotes atherosclerosis.

Researchers studying mice found no evidence of an association between iron levels and the hardening of the arteries that leads to often deadly cardiovascular disease.

To access the full article :

December 19, 2013. How cells remodel after UV radiation

Researchers map cell’s complex genetic interactions to fix damaged DNA.

To access the full article :

December 19, 2013. Nutrition influences metabolism through circadian rhythms, UCI study finds

A high-fat diet affects the molecular mechanism controlling the internal body clock that regulates metabolic functions in the liver, UC Irvine scientists have found. Disruption of these circadian rhythms may contribute to metabolic distress ailments, such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

To access the full article :

December 19, 2013. The origin of flowers

UC Riverside scientists contribute to international study providing insight into evolution of flowering plants.

To access the full article :

December 20, 2013 : Adult stem cells found to suppress cancer while dormant

Hair follicle stem cells, the cells of origin for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, a common skin cancer, cannot initiate cancer growth during their quiescent phase, UCLA researchers found.

To access the full article :

December 25, 2013 : Genetic link to Type 2 diabetes found

Keck School of Medicine of USC scientists are part of an international team of researchers in Mexico and the United States that has uncovered a new genetic clue that contributes to an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, particularly the elevated risk among Mexican and other Latin American populations.

To access the full article :


December 8, 2013 : Concussion secrets unveiled in mice and people

NIH scientists film early concussion damage and describe brain’s response to injury.

To access the full article :

December 11, 2013 : Tobacco, drug use in pregnancy can double risk of stillbirth

NIH network study documents elevated risk associated with marijuana and other substances.

To access the full article :

December 13, 2013 : FDA allows marketing of first device to relieve migraine headache pain

The US Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing of the Cerena Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS), the first device to relieve pain caused by migraine headaches that are preceded by an aura : a visual, sensory or motor disturbance immediately preceding the onset of a migraine attack.

To access the full article :

December 23, 2013 : Enzyme that produces melatonin originated 500 million years ago, NIH study shows

Origins of “timezyme” have implications for understanding sleep, retina disorders.

To access the full article :

December 23, 2013 : FDA approves Tretten to treat rare genetic clotting disorder

The US Food and Drug Administration today approved Tretten, Coagulation Factor XIII A-Subunit (Recombinant), the first recombinant product for use in the routine prevention of bleeding in adults and children who have a rare clotting disorder known as congenital Factor XIII A-subunit deficiency.

To access the full article :



December 5, 2013 : The shape of the brain contributes to children’s learning ability.

Brain anatomy plays a major role in cognitive control, a key skill in learning and academic success. This finding is the result of research carried out by the Laboratory for the Psychology of Child Development and Education (CNRS/Université Paris Descartes/Université de Caen Basse-Normandie), in collaboration with the NeuroSpin imaging center (CEA). The researchers have demonstrated that asymmetry between the two hemispheres as regards a specific pattern in an area of the cortex may partly explain the efficiency of five-year old children in performing a task used to assess cognitive control. According to the researchers, children may have different educational needs when it comes to cognitive control learning depending on the characteristics of their brains.
To access the full article :

December 5, 2013 : Fossil primate shakes up history of strepsirrhines

Fossils discovered in Tunisia challenge several hypotheses concerning the origin of tooth-combed primates (Malagasy lemurs, Afro-Asian lorises and African galagos). The fossils are of a small primate called Djebelemur, which lived around 50 million years ago. They were discovered by a French-Tunisian team from the Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution in Montpellier (CNRS/Université Montpellier 2/IRD) and the Office National des Mines (ONM) in Tunis. According to the paleontologists, Djebelemur was probably a transitional form leading to the appearance of tooth-combed primates. However, according to genetic data, these primates appeared at least 15 million years earlier. Djebelemur therefore challenges the hypotheses put forward by molecular biology. The work, which has just been published in Plos One, makes it possible to reconstruct a chapter in the evolutionary history of this lineage. In addition, it may help to refine genetic models.

To access the full article :

December 11, 2013 : When will the Earth lose its oceans ?

The natural increase in solar luminosity—a very slow process unrelated to current climate warming—will cause the Earth’s temperatures to rise over the next few hundred million years. This will result in the complete evaporation of the oceans. Devised by a team from the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique1 (CNRS / UPMC / ENS / École polytechnique), the first three-dimensional climate model able to simulate the phenomenon predicts that liquid water will disappear on Earth in approximately one billion years, extending previous estimates by several hundred million years. Published on December 12, 2013 in the journal Nature, the work not only improves our understanding of the evolution of our planet but also makes it possible to determine the necessary conditions for the presence of liquid water on other Earth-like planets.

To access the full article :

December 13, 2013 : Carriers of a genetic mutation show increased dependence on tobacco

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) have recently proven that, in mice, nicotine intake is heavily regulated by a genetic mutation that is very common in humans. This mutation affects the neuronal nicotinic receptor, disrupting its function and resulting in partial inactivation of the "reward circuit". Carriers of this mutation therefore have to increase their consumption to feel the effects of tobacco. These results the way for the development of new smoking cessation treatments that target carriers of this mutation.

To access the full article :




Salk Institute

Salk Science and Music Series
January 26 – 4:00 pm
Featured Performer : Yoonie Han, Pianist
Featured Speaker : Ron Evans, Gene Expression Laboratory
More Information : http://music.salk.edu
music@salk.edu or (858) 453-4100 x 2098


Tough Cases
Patient Consent for Data Sharing
January 28 – 12:00pm
UCSD Medical Center Room 11-309
Featured Speaker : Dr. Mary Devereaux, PhD


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