Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #63 – June 2015




The Office for Science and Technology would like to wish our readers a happy summer, but fear not, there are no vacations in science. Once again we have for you upcoming events, programs, and funds occurring in June to look through and attend. We hope you find them as interesting and valuable as we do !

FACTS Denver – Registration is now open to reserve seats at FACTS Denver to all who wish to attend. On June 24th, 2015 the French Ameri-Can Climate TalkS (FACTS) will be traveling to Denver to hold a conference highlighting climate change’s effects on health and the quality of life from the perspectives of France and Colorado. Held at MSU Denver, the conference will welcome a variety of speakers and panelists to discuss the issue in detail, with a special emphasis on water as well as new emerging diseases. FACTS Denver and several other similar conferences around the United States and Canada are building up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the COP 21-Paris Climate 2015, hosted in France this December 2015. Find more details and information regarding registration here and follow this link to reserve a seat through Eventbrite.

FR-US Networking Event in Science & Technology – On May 11, 2015, the Consul general of France in Los Angeles graciously hosted a French-American Networking Event in Science and Technology aimed at assembling and honoring scientific alumni advancing Franco-American scientific research efforts. This event in Los Angeles was a huge success, with the attendance of all scientific attachés and representatives of French research organizations. Consul general Axel Cruau and Counselor for Science and Technology for the Embassy of France in the US Minh-Hà Pham spoke about the importance of such scientific collaboration. We thank all attendees for their work between our two countries.

La French Tech – For France to become a digital nation, the government has started a program to promote and help French start-ups expand and mature. This program also aims to internationalize French start-ups and increase the international appeal of French Tech by uniting French start-ups in entrepreneurial hubs all over the world. In this way French Tech Hubs help start-ups expand into the international market, forming an international network. Coming up in June in our district are meetings to evaluate French presence in innovative ecosystems in metropolitan areas. If you would like to attend or participate in a meeting please follow this link.

Visit the website for the Office for Science and Technology at the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles to explore in detail our activities and events as they occur in June.

Gwen Calais-Haase, 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 June 2015 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.



May 1, 2015 : Patients with Gastrointestinal Tumors at Higher Risk of Other Cancers

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine conducted the first population-based study that characterizes the association and temporal relationship between gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and other cancers. The results, published by Cancer on April 30, indicate that one in 5.8 patients with GIST will develop additional malignancies before and after their diagnosis.

To access the full article :

May 4, 2015 : All sugars are not equally desirable, new study finds

When it comes to sweeteners, one indulgence makes our brains predisposed to do it, according to a new study by researchers at Keck Medicine of USC. In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’“Early Edition,” Kathleen Page, assistant professor of medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, details the results of a study that sought to better understand how sugar affects brain-reward pathways and the motivation to eat.

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May 4, 2015 : Tracking Photosynthesis from Space

Watching plants perform photosynthesis from space sounds like a futuristic proposal, but a new application of data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite may enable scientists to do just that. The new technique, which allows researchers to analyze plant productivity from far above Earth, will provide a clearer picture of the global carbon cycle and may one day help researchers determine the best regional farming practices and even spot early signs of drought.

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May 5, 2015 : Caltech, JPL Team Captures Movement on Nepal Earthquake Fault Rupture

Using a combination of satellite radar imaging data, GPS data measured in and near Nepal, and seismic observations from instruments around the world, Caltech and JPL scientists have constructed a preliminary picture of what happened below Earth’s surface during the recent 7.8-magnitude Gorkha earthquake in Nepal.

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May 6, 2015 : Molecular Homing Beacon Redirects Human Antibodies to Fight Pathogenic Bacteria

With the threat of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens growing, new ideas to treat infections are sorely needed. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report preliminary success testing an entirely novel approach — tagging bacteria with a molecular “homing beacon” that attracts pre-existing antibodies to attack the pathogens. The study is published by the Journal of Molecular Medicine.

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May 7, 2015 : Study of Giant South China Sea Internal Waves Provides First-Ever View of Life Cycle

An international research team that included physical oceanographers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, characterized for the first time the entire life cycle of internal ocean waves that can reach 500 meters (1,600 feet) in height before breaking. In the study, the researchers observed internal waves that break in the South China Sea. These are the largest waves produced in the world’s oceans, producing up to 10,000 times the amount of turbulence typically found in the open ocean.

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May 7, 2015 : As Life Slips by : Why Eye Movement Doesn’t Blur the Picture

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute have identified the molecular “glue” that builds the brain connections that keep visual images clear and still, even as objects or your eyes move. Using mouse models, the researchers demonstrate that image stabilization depends upon two proteins, Contactin-4 and amyloid precursor protein, binding during embryonic development. The study is published May 7 by Neuron.

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May 7, 2015 : Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Accelerated Aging

In recent years, public health concerns about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have risen significantly, driven in part by affected military veterans returning from conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. PTSD is associated with number of psychological maladies, among them chronic depression, anger, insomnia, eating disorders and substance abuse. Writing in the May 7 online issue of American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System suggest that people with PTSD may also be at risk for accelerated aging or premature senescence.

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May 11, 2015 : Brain cells capable of "early-career" switch

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered that the role of neurons–which are responsible for specific tasks in the brain–is much more flexible than previously believed.
By studying sensory neurons in mice, the Salk team found that malfunction of a single molecule can prompt the neuron to make an “early-career” switch, changing a neuron originally destined to process sound or touch, for example, to instead process vision. The finding, reported May 11, 2015 in PNAS, will help neuroscientists better understand how brain architecture is molecularly encoded and how it can become miswired. It may also point to ways to prevent or treat human disorders (such as autism) that feature substantial brain structure abnormalities.

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May 19, 2015 : UCLA researchers identify a potentially effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction

A new study by UCLA researchers has found that Naltrexone, a drug used to treat alcoholism, may also be a promising treatment for addiction to methamphetamine.
“The results were about as good as you could hope for,” said Lara Ray, a UCLA associate professor of psychology, director of the UCLA Addictions Laboratory and lead author of the new study. The study, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, was the first in the U.S. to evaluate Naltrexone for treating methamphetamine addiction.

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May 20, 2015 : New Studies of Rocks Show Earliest Forms of Life in Antarctic Ice Caves and in South African Lava

Hubert Staudigel, a geophysicist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and his collaborators have completed two studies about fossils in volcanic rocks, and the biological activity in some of the earth’s harshest environments. These studies are helping researchers understand how life may have emerged under the physical and chemical conditions that existed on Earth billions of years ago.

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May 21, 2015 : Controlling a Robotic Arm with a Patient’s Intentions

Neural prosthetic devices implanted in the brain’s movement center, the motor cortex, can allow patients with amputations or paralysis to control the movement of a robotic limb—one that can be either connected to or separate from the patient’s own limb. However, current neuroprosthetics produce motion that is delayed and jerky—not the smooth and seemingly automatic gestures associated with natural movement. Now, by implanting neuroprosthetics in a part of the brain that controls not the movement directly but rather our intent to move, Caltech researchers have developed a way to produce more natural and fluid motions.

To access the full article :


May 4 : Study points to possible treatment for lethal pediatric brain cancer

Using brain tumor samples collected from children in the United States and Europe, an international team of scientists found that the drug panobinostat and similar gene regulating drugs may be effective at treating diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), an aggressive and lethal form of pediatric cancer. The study, published in Nature Medicine, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and more than 25 nonprofit foundations devoted to finding cures for childhood brain cancer.

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May 6, 2015 : NIH study solves ovarian cell mystery, shedding new light on reproductive disorders

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have solved a long-standing mystery about the origin of one of the cell types that make up the ovary. The team also discovered how ovarian cells share information during development of an ovarian follicle, which holds the maturing egg. Researchers believe this new information on basic ovarian biology will help them better understand the cause of ovarian disorders, such as premature ovarian failure and polycystic ovarian syndrome, conditions that both result in hormone imbalances and infertility in women.

To access the full article :

May 11, 2015 : Ease of weight loss influenced by individual biology

For the first time in a lab, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found evidence supporting the commonly held belief that people with certain physiologies lose less weight than others when limiting calories. Study results published May 11 in Diabetes.

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May 7, 2015 : Viagra to prevent transmission of the malaria parasite

By increasing the stiffness of erythrocytes infected by the causal agent of malaria, Viagra favors their elimination from the blood circulation and may therefore reduce transmission of the parasite from humans to mosquitoes. This astonishing discovery, made by scientists from the CNRS, INSERM, Université Paris Descartes – at the Institut Cochin – and the Institut Pasteur, working in collaboration with a team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, could lead to a treatment to reduce the spread of malaria within a population. Their work is published in PLOS Pathogens on 7 May 2015.

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May 7, 2015 : From monkeys to humans : the importance of interspecies transmission in the emergence of retroviruses in Central Africa

The Oncogenic Virus Epidemiology and Pathophysiology (EPVO) Unit directed by Professor Antoine Gessain at the Institut Pasteur has recently focused its research on a high-risk population for interspecies transmission, namely hunters of NHPs in Central Africa, in a bid to shed light on how STLV-1/HTLV-1 retroviruses were transmitted from monkeys to humans. The scientists conducting this study, which was published on February 25, 2015 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, demonstrated that a severe bite from a monkey, particularly a gorilla, represents a major risk factor for HTLV-1 infection.

To access the full article :

May 11, 2015 : Glucose to help blindness

The loss of cones, those photoreceptors located in the retina, is the major cause of disability for people with inherited retinal degeneration. Preventing their loss would prevent more than a million people worldwide from becoming blind. Retinitis pigmentosa, a type of inherited retinal degeneration, is generally diagnosed in young adults. This condition results from progressive degeneration of the photoreceptors located in the retina (rods and cones). In this new study, Thierry Leveillard and his team have elucidated the mechanism of action of RdCVF on the cones : it promotes their survival by stimulating aerobic glycolysis.

To access the full article :

May 27, 2015 : Successful launch for Ariane 5 on 27 May 2015

A new Ariane 5 ECA model orbited 2 telecommunications satellites on wednesday 27 May 2015 from the Guiana Space Centre : DirectTV-15 and SKY México-1. The launcher lifted off at 18:16 (Kourou), 23:16 (Paris).

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’Deep into the human immune response in infections and vaccination
Tuesday June 2, 2015, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Neuroscience Research Building, Room 132
Featured Speaker : Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sekaly
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/167920

Minimizing a bacterial genome by global design and synthesis
June 10, 2015, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Neuroscience Research Building, Room 132
Featured Speaker : Dr. Clyde Hutchinson, University of North Carolina
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/169338

UC San Diego

Herbert Stern Lecture by Alexander Schier—The Molecular Control of Embryogenesis : Insights from Zebrafish
June 15, 2015 – 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Natural Sciences Building Auditorium (room 1205)
Featured Speaker : Alexander Schier
More Information : https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=148905&iSubCatID=3&iRoomID=

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

Dissecting the Corticostriatal Subcircuits for Action
June 2, 2015 - 4:00 p.m.
Location : University of California, San Diego Marilyn G. Farquhar Seminar Room (formerly CNCB)
Featured Speaker : Xin Jin, Harvard University

Conserved R-loop Structures As Novel Functional Elements in Mammalian Genomes
June 18, 2015 – 4:00 p.m.
Trustees’ Room
Featured Speaker : Frederic L. Chedin, University of California, Davis

The World of CRISPRs : From Biology to Transformative Technology
June 25, 2015 – 4:00 p.m.
Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Jennifer Doudna, University of California, Berkeley

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

Faculty Lecture Series : "Immune Crosstalk in Epithelial Barrier Tissues"
June 10, 2015 – 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location : Valerie Timkin Amphitheater, Scripps Green Hospital
Featured Speaker : Wendy Havran, Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Immunology & Microbial Science, TSRI

In vivo discovery of novel targets for cancer immunotherapy
June 18, 2015 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
MBB2N - The Committee Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker : Kai W. Wucherpfennig, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of Neurology, Harvard Medical School ; Professor & Co-chair, Cancer Immunology & AIDS, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Axonal fusion : an alternative mechanism to repair injured axons
June 30, 2015 - 10:00 AM
DNC1 - Dorris Center Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Massimo A. Hilliard, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Group Leader, Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland


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Dernière modification : 17/12/2015

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