Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #47 – February 2014




This month the REDCAT theater in Downtown Los Angeles will be commemorating French nature film maverick Jean Painlevé (1902-1989) with the special event “Jean Painlevé : the Vampire, the Seahorse, and the Octopus in Love” ; a program showing seven of his more than 200 documentary including The Vampire (1939) and The Love Life of the Octopus (1965). Tickets, which can be purchased here or in person at the box office, are $10 for the general public and $8 for members and students.

Among the many current calls for proposals from the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, we would like to highlight two in particular. First, the OST’s Boston office along with Le Réseau C.U.R.I.E. is now accepting project proposals for the French-American Technology Transfer Exchange Program (FATTE+) until March 3. Since its launch in 2007, the program continues to support collaboration between French and American experts in the field of technology transfer. The program seeks projects that will encourage long-term exchanges between the two countries. For more information and to apply, click here.

Second, the OST is accepting applications to the “LIFE SCIENCES : inventing - creating – having fun” 2014 competition until April 13. The OST will financially support participations to scientific competitions, contests and games specializing in Life Sciences. This program hopes to encourage students and researchers to participate in exchanges between the United States and France, as well as to initiate collaborations between French and American scientists, and to promote scientific research and practice.

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




January 6, 2014 : Biomaterials get stem cells to commit to a bony future

With the help of biomimetic matrices, a research team led by bioengineers at UCSD has discovered exactly how calcium phosphate can coax stem cells to become bone-building cells.

To access the full article :

January 8, 2014 : Octopus got your tongue ?

It’s an unusual coupling : a linguist and a marine biologist are working together to investigate the human tongue. In their study, the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences researchers are using two species of octopus and tiny worms that helped win a Nobel Prize.

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January 9, 2014 : Scientists develop new approach to study how genetic variants affect gene expression

The two-and-a-half-year UCLA study found that the protein expression of a typical gene is influenced by many more genetic variants than previously thought.

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January 9, 2014 : Microwaves used to cook breast cancer.

A novel imaging system for detecting breast cancer under development at USC uses microwaves instead of X-rays.

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January 13, 2014 : Caffeine consumption enhances memory, UCI neurobiologist finds

Caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions who consume it to wake up or stay up. Now, UC Irvine neurobiologist Michael Yassa has found another use for the stimulant : memory enhancer.

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January 13, 2014 : Salk scientists identify factors that trigger ALT-ernative cancer cell growth

Researchers link slipshod construction of chromosomal termini to unregulated tumor cell proliferation.

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January 13, 2014 : Keeping stem cells pluripotent.

In a paper published in this week’s Online Early Edition of PNAS, researchers from the UCSD School of Medicine identify a key gene receptor and signaling pathway essential to maintaining hESCs in an undifferentiated state.

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January 22, 2014 : UCLA researchers develop risk calculator to predict survival in heart failure patients.

A UCLA team has developed an easy-to-use “risk calculator” that helps predict heart failure patients’ chances of survival for up to five years and assists doctors in determining whether more or less aggressive treatment is appropriate.

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January 23, 2014 : Putting a brake on tumor spread

A team of scientists, led by principal investigator David D. Schlaepfer, PhD, a professor in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine has found that a protein involved in promoting tumor growth and survival is also activated in surrounding blood vessels, enabling cancer cells to spread into the bloodstream.

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January 24, 2014 : Groundbreaking research explores link between traumatic brain injury and sleep

There is a lack of experimental evidence to support the common belief that sleep should not be allowed following a brain injury.

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January 27, 2014 : UA researchers find culprit behind skeletal muscle disease.

Mutations in a protein that is vital for proper muscle function can cause skeletal muscle disease, a new study finds.

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January 27, 2014 : Natural plant compound prevents Alzheimer’s disease in mice

A daily dose of the antioxidant fisetin keeps mice – even those with genetic mutations linked to Alzheimer’s – from experiencing memory and learning deficits as they age.

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January 9, 2014 : FDA approves first gel for sealing corneal incision after cataract surgery

The US Food and Drug Administration today approved the first gel sealant for use in stopping fluid from leaking though the incision in a patient’s cornea after cataract surgery with intraocular lens placement in adults. Prior to today’s approval, stitches were the only option for closing a leaking corneal incision after cataract surgery.

To access the full article :

January 23, 2014 : NIH scientists map genetic changes that drive tumors in a common pediatric soft-tissue cancer

The genetic alterations identified could be used in developing targeted diagnostic tools and treatments for children with the disease.

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January 9, 2014 : How fiber prevents diabetes and obesity

Scientists have known for the past twenty years that a fiber-rich diet protects the organism against obesity and diabetes but the mechanisms involved have so far eluded them. A French-Swedish team including researchers from CNRS, Inserm and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (Unité Inserm 855 “Nutrition et Cerveau”) has succeeded in elucidating this mechanism, which involves the intestinal flora and the ability of the intestine to produce glucose between meals. These results, published in the journal Cell on 9 January 2014, also clarify the role of the intestine and its associated microorganisms in maintaining glycaemia. They will give rise to new dietary recommendations to prevent diabetes and obesity.

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January 13, 2014 : Leukemia : mode of action of a targeted treatment clarified.

The mechanism of senescence - or premature cell ageing – can have an anticancer effect. This new work, conducted by Hugues de Thé and his team (Paris Diderot University/ Inserm/ CNRS/ AP-HP), was published in Nature Medicine on 12 January 2014. It reveals that targeted treatments for acute promyelocytic leukaemia, a rare form of blood cancer, cause a cascade of molecular events leading to cellular senescence and recovery. This action model could be activated in other types of cancers.

To access the full article :

January 19, 2014 : Flower protein : a new part of its history revealed

Present in algae even before plants had evolved onto dry land, the protein known as LEAFY now plays a major part in the beauty of the plant kingdom, for it is the protein that governs flower formation. Collaborating within the scope of an international initiative, a mixed team of researchers from the CEA, the CNRS and Joseph Fourier University has succeeded in retracing this protein’s history and explaining the evolutionary mechanism that gave it the ability to control floral morphogenesis. The key to understanding this mechanism was the discovery of an ancestral intermediary form of the protein which has survived until today in a moss-like species. These findings have been published in the 16 January 2014 issue of Science.

To access the full article :

January 22 : Water vapor discovered for the first time around an asteroid.

Water vapor discovered for the first time around an asteroid. An international team, including researchers from CNRS and the Paris Observatory at LESIA1 (Observatoire de Paris/CNRS/Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Université Paris-Diderot) and at IMCEE2 (Observatoire de Paris/CNRS/Université Pierre et Marie Curie/Université Lille 1), has discovered intermittent emissions of water vapor on Ceres, the largest of the asteroids, using the Herschel3 space telescope. These findings are published in the journal Nature dated 23 January 2014.

To access the full article :





Exercise-induced Restoration of Motor Function in Parkinson’s Disease : The Mind-Body Connection
February 27 – 12:00 pm
Andrus Gerontology Center, GER 224
Featured Speaker : Dr. John Walsh, USC
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/907565


Reel Science Series
Trial by Fire : How Catastrophes and Collisions Enabled Life on Earth
February 21 – 10:00am
Beckman Auditorium
Host : Kirsten Siebach

Science Saturdays Series
Instant Genius : How Derek Amato transformed from aficionado to musical savant in a day
February 22 – 2:00pm
Beckman Auditorium
Host : Enoch Yeung


Regulatory T-Cells and Disease : Targets of Opportunity
February 12 – 12:00pm
Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Dr. Harvey Cantor, Harvard Medical School

Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cells for Inherited Skin Disease
February 13 – 12:00pm
Health Sciences Center 73-105
Featured Speaker : Dr. Dennis Roop, University of Colorado

UC Irvine

New Options for Natural Product Engineering
February 7 – 3:00pm
McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Dr. Blaine Pfeifer, SUNY – Buffalo

Telomeres and centromeres : surprising ends and means
February 12, 11:00am
Tamkin F-114 Lecture Hall
Dr. Julie P. Cooper, National Cancer Institute


Vogt Lecture
New ways of targeting Ras cancers
February 11 – 4:00pm
Featured Speaker : Dr. Drank McCormick, UCSF
Contact Jaclyn Durocher with questions at (858) 453-4100 ext. 1200 or email jdurocher@salk.edu

Science and Music Series
February 23 – 4:00pm
Salk Auditorium
Featured Performers : Geoffrey Keezer and Joe Locke
Featured Speaker : Dr. Tom Albright, Vision Center Laboratory
More information : music@salk.edu or (858) 453-4100 ext 2098


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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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