Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #61 – April 2015




The Office for Science and Technology invites you to read about exciting scientific events and recent discoveries in this April newsletter ! Please peruse (and apply for !) the following projects :

April 19, 2015 - The deadline for the 2015 LIFE SCIENCES : inventing - creating - having fun is quickly approaching ! Spread the word to people interested in Life Sciences AND who would love to collaborate with French and American Scientists. If you know anyone who would be perfect for this program (or if that person happens to be you !) consider applying here. This program is funded by the Office for Science and Technology and the last call for projects is April 19, 2015. Through this program, the OST hopes to encourage students and researchers to involve themselves in Life Science, foster international scientific relations, and promote Franco-American research collaborations. Apply today !

May 27, 2015 - The Young Entreprise initiative, founded in 2006, is an accelerator aimed at aiding the success and growth of businesses in France and the rest of Europe. The laureates will be thoroughly trained in Boston and Paris, followed by a week in France where you will be put in contact with MANY valuable connections. This is such an important opportunity for the success of startup companies ! The only criteria are that you company must have less than 30 employees and make less than $2 million in annual revenue. For more information and to apply, click here.

Mandy Majidian, 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 April 2015 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.



March 03, 2015 : UCLA researchers devise new method to identify disease markers, a key step toward personalized medicine

UCLA life scientists have created an accurate new method to identify genetic markers for many diseases — a significant step toward a new era of personalized medicine, tailored to each person’s DNA and RNA.

To access the full article :

March 04, 2015 : UCLA stem cell researchers develop promising method to treat sickle cell disease

UCLA stem cell researchers have shown that a novel stem cell gene therapy method could lead to a one-time, lasting treatment for sickle cell disease — the nation’s most common inherited blood disorder.

To access the full article :

March 09, 2015 : A century of waiting for new brain imaging is over

Synapses, the links between neurons that allow them to pass information to one another, are believed to be where memories are stored, yet researchers have little understanding of how they change when memories are made.

To access the full article :

March 10, 2015 : Cellular scissors chop up HIV virus

Imagine a single drug that could prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, treat patients who have already contracted HIV, and even remove all the dormant copies of the virus from those with the more advanced disease. It sounds like science fiction, but Salk scientists have gotten one step closer to creating such a drug by customizing a powerful defense system used by many bacteria and training this scissor-like machinery to recognize the HIV virus.

To access the full article :

March 12, 2015 : Immune system-in-a-dish offers hope for "bubble boy" disease

For infants with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), something as simple as a common cold or ear infection can be fatal. Born with an incomplete immune system, kids who have SCID–also known as “bubble boy” or “bubble baby” disease–can’t fight off even the mildest of germs. They often have to live in sterile, isolated environments to avoid infections and, even then, most patients don’t live past a year or two. This happens because stem cells in SCID patients’ bone marrow have a genetic mutation that prevents them from developing critical immune cells, called T and Natural Killer (NK) cells.

To access the full article :

March 12, 2015 : Necklace and smartphone app developed at UCLA can help people track food intake

A sophisticated necklace developed by researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science can monitor food and drink intake, which could help wearers track and improve their dietary habits.

To access the full article :

March 12, 2015 : Boosting A Natural Protection Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a gene variant that may be used to predict people most likely to respond to an investigational therapy under development for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study, published March 12 in Cell Stem Cell, is based on experiments with cultured neurons derived from adult stem cells.

To access the full article :

March 19, 2015 : Nanoscale explosives show potential in fight against cancer

In 1996, a trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of Buckminsterfullerene — soccer-ball-shaped spheres of 60 joined carbon atoms that exhibit special physical properties.

To access the full article :

March 19, 2015 : Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Extends to New Realms

Astronomers have expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence into a new realm with detectors tuned to infrared light. Their new instrument has just begun to scour the sky for messages from other worlds.

To access the full article :

March 23, 2015 : USC Viterbi joins engineering schools taking on Grand Challenges that can change the world

USC Viterbi School of Engineering Dean Yannis C. Yortsos is helping to lead an initiative that could educate a new generation of engineers.

To access the full article :


March 03, 2015 : Scientists map memorable tunes in the rat brain

Lights, sound, action : we are constantly learning how to incorporate outside sensations into our reactions in specific situations. In a new study, brain scientists have mapped changes in communication between nerve cells as rats learned to make specific decisions in response to particular sounds. The team then used this map to accurately predict the rats’ reactions. These results add to our understanding of how the brain processes sensations and forms memories to inform behavior.

To access the full article :

March 18, 2015 : Strengthening the immune system’s fight against brain cancer

When cancer strikes, it may be possible for patients to fight back with their own defenses, using a strategy known as immunotherapy. According to a new study published in Nature, researchers have found a way to enhance the effects of this therapeutic approach in glioblastoma, a deadly type of brain cancer, and possibly improve patient outcomes. The research was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as well as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which are part of the National Institutes of Health.

To access the full article :

March 31, 2015 : Repurposed experimental cancer drug restores brain function in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease

Scientists have found that a compound originally developed as a cancer therapy potentially could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The team demonstrated that the drug, saracatinib, restores memory loss and reverses brain problems in mouse models of Alzheimer’s, and now the researchers are testing saracatinib’s effectiveness in humans. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of an innovative crowdsourcing initiative to repurpose experimental drugs.

To access the full article :


March 09, 2015 : MAIT cell alterations involved in obesity and T2 diabetes

Scientists at Institut Cochin (CNRS/Inserm/Université Paris Descartes) and ICAN – Institute of Cardiometabolism And Nutrition (Inserm/UPMC/AP-HP) have discovered that a class of inflammatory cells, MAIT lymphocytes1, is deregulated in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes and obesity. In these patients, bariatric surgery (or a gastric bypass)2, which relieves inflammation, can restore the normal functioning of MAIT cells. Already known to be activated by certain bacterial populations and to favor inflammation, these cells may explain the link between alterations that affect the intestinal flora (microbiota) and the inflammatory nature of these diseases. These findings are published on 9 March 2015 in Journal of Clinical Investigation.

To access the full article :

March 24, 2015 : Combining magnetism and light to fight cancer

By combining, in a liposome1, magnetic nanoparticles and photosensitizers that are simultaneously and remotely activated by external physical stimuli (a magnetic field and light), scientists at the Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) and the Laboratoire Physicochimie des Electrolytes et Nanosystèmes Interfaciaux (CNRS/UPMC),2 obtained total tumor regression in mice. Non-toxic when they are not activated, such therapies can also achieve a reduction in adverse effects. These results, which demonstrate the importance of multiple treatments, were published in ACS Nano on 24 March 2015.

To access the full article :

March 26, 2015 : What if the severity of our seasonal influenza were related to our genetic background ?

While most of us recover from influenza after a week, it can be a very severe disease, and even fatal in rare cases, with no reason for physicians to have expected such an outcome. By analysing the genome of a little girl who contracted a severe form of influenza at the age of two and a half years, researchers at the Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases (a joint French-American international laboratory), which brings together researchers from Inserm, Paris Descartes University, and physicians from the Paris public hospitals (AP-HP ; Necker Hospital for Sick Children), working at the Imagine Institute, and from The Rockefeller University in New York, have discovered that she has a genetic mutation, unknown until now, that causes a subtle dysfunction in her immune system. More generally, these results show that genetic mutations could be the root cause of some severe forms of influenza in children, and indicate in any event that immune mechanisms missing in this little girl are needed for protection against this virus in humans. These results are published in the journal Science Express.

To access the full article :




UC Global Health Day 2015
April 18, 2015, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunset Village - Covel Grand Horizon & Terrace
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/154337

Negative regulation and transcriptional control of immunity during chronic infection
April 21, 2015, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Health Sciences Ctr. - Room 13-105
Featured Speaker : ohn Wherry, PhD Director, Institute for Immunology Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/156617

UC San Diego

Parkinson’s Disease : Empowering the Community
April 11, 2015 – 1:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=128704&iSubCatID=&iRoomID=

Telemedicine & International Health Conference
April 18, 2015 – 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Medical Education and Telemedicine (MET) Building
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=128691&iSubCatID=27&iRoomID=


Dietary adaptation, stress and aging : Does your diet fit your genes ?
April 16, 2015 – 12:00 PM
University Park Campus, Davis School of Gerontology, GER 224
Featured Speaker : Sean P. Curran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Gerontology,USC
More Information : https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/915263

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
More Information : http://www.salk.edu/events/scientific_seminars.html

Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine
Biochemistry of Inflammation Symposium

April 06, 2015 - 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Mina Bissell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Divining Root : How Plants Find Water
April 09, 2015 - 4:00 p.m.
Trustee’s Room
Featured Speaker : Jose Dinneny, Carnegie Institution for Science

TRP Channels of the Pain Pathway : Connecting Physiology to Atomic Structure
April 23, 2015 - 4 PM
Trustees’ Room
Featured Speaker : David Julius, University of California, San Francisco

The Scripps Research Institute
More Information : http://www.scripps.edu/california/events/seminars.html

Dart NeuroScience Seminar Series : "The Sensory Neurons of Touch"
April 28, 2015 – 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
DNC1 - Dorris Neuroscience Center Auditorium
Featured Speaker : David D. Ginty, Ph.D., Professor, Harvard Medical School ; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Fattening Up Immunological Memory
April 30, 2015 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
MBB2N - The Committee Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker : Susan Kaech, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Immunobiology, HHMI Early Career Scientist, Yale School of Medicine


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Dernière modification : 17/12/2015

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