Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #32 - November 2012

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Are you interested in science or medicine ? Do you want to improve your French or be in an environment to interact with other French-speakers ? Then come to the first ever Ciné-Sciences on November 28 ! This free event is being hosted by the Consulate General of France, the Lycée Français de Los Angeles and the Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz. There, we will be showing a screening of the documentary “Nicole Le Douarin, une chercheuse sachant chercher” (Nicole Le Douarin, a researcher who knows how to search). The film will highlight the accomplishments and research of Nicole Le Douarin, a key figure of modern science in the fields of embryology and avian development. It will also discuss the lasting impacts of her work as seen through the eyes of her friends and colleagues. Immediately following the film, a panel of UCLA professors will be discussing the importance of stem-cell research and its ethical implications, as well as its therapeutic potential and overall role in the future of regenerative medicine. The event will begin with a cocktail at 7:00 pm at the Théâtre Raymond Kabbaz, located at 10361 W Pico Blvd.

Please RSVP to rsvp.trk@lyceela.org.

We hope to see you there !

Kara Leary, Science and Technology Intern
Aurelie Perthuison, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Fabien Agenes, Attaché for Science and Technology

To read the full version of the November 2012 newsletter, please scroll down or click here. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




October 1, 2012 : Common RNA Pathway Found in ALS and Dementia

Two proteins previously found to contribute to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, have divergent roles. But a new study, led by researchers at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, shows that a common pathway links them. The discovery reveals a small set of target genes that could be used to measure the health of motor neurons, and provides a useful tool for development of new pharmaceuticals to treat the devastating disorder, which currently has no treatment or cure. Funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the study will be published in the advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience on September 30. ALS is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by premature degeneration of motor neurons, resulting in a progressive, fatal paralysis in patients.

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October 3, 2012 : Blocking Tumor-Induced Inflammation Impacts Cancer Development

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the discovery of microbial–dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth. The findings are published in the October 3, 2012 Advanced Online Edition of Nature. The association between chronic inflammation and tumor development has long been known from the early work of German pathologist Rudolph Virchow. Harvard University pathologist Harold Dvorak later compared tumors with “wounds that never heal,” noting the similarities between normal inflammation processes that characterize wound- healing and tumorigenesis or tumor-formation.

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October 4, 2012 : UCLA astronomers discover star racing around black hole at center of our galaxy

UCLA astronomers report the discovery of a remarkable star that orbits the enormous black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy in a blistering 11-and-a-half years — the shortest known orbit of any star near this black hole. The star, known as S0-102, may help astronomers discover whether Albert Einstein was right in his fundamental prediction of how black holes warp space and time, said research co-author Andrea Ghez, leader of the discovery team and a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy who holds the Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Chair in Astrophysics. The research is published Oct. 5 in the journal Science.

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October 4, 2012 : BPA’s Real Threat May Be After It Has Metabolized

Bisphenol A or BPA is a synthetic chemical widely used in the making of plastic products ranging from bottles and food can linings to toys and water supply lines. When these plastics degrade, BPA is released into the environment and routinely ingested. New research, however, from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests it is the metabolic changes that take place once BPA is broken down inside the body that pose the greater health threat. More than 90 percent of all Americans are believed to carry varying levels of BPA exposure. In recent years, numerous studies have reported alarming associations between BPA exposure and myriad adverse health and development effects, from cancer and neurological disorders to physiological defects and, perhaps, a cause of childhood obesity.

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October 7, 2012 : UCLA scientists discover sleeping brain behaves as if it’s remembering something

UCLA researchers have for the first time measured the activity of a brain region known to be involved in learning, memory and Alzheimer’s disease during sleep. They discovered that this region, called the entorhinal cortex, behaves as if it’s remembering something, even during anesthesia–induced sleep — a finding that counters conventional theories about sleep-time memory consolidation. The research team simultaneously measured the activity of single neurons from multiple parts of the brain that are involved in memory formation. The technique allowed them to determine which brain region was activating other areas and how that activation was spreading, said the study’s senior author, Mayank R. Mehta, a professor of neurophysics in UCLA’s departments of neurology, neurobiology, and physics and astronomy.

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October 10, 2012 : Valdevit, team win award for world’s lightest metal

UCI mechanical & aerospace engineer Lorenzo Valdevit and fellow researchers at HRL Laboratories LLC, along with the California Institute of Technology, have won a 2012 Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics for their creation of a micro-lattice metal. The material is lightweight enough to sit atop a dandelion’s fluffy seeds without damaging them (pictured) yet is also extremely strong. "I am really honored to be selected as one of the winners," Valdevit said. "The material we have developed is ultra-light and ultra-compressible, but more importantly, it’s a unique platform for a novel methodology.

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October 11, 2012 : USC develops software for biological inquiry

The world’s leading mass spectrometer manufacturers have agreed to license technology that enables USC researchers to develop software that, for the first time, allows scientists to easily use and share research data collected across proprietary platforms. The ProteoWizard Toolkit, a cross-platform set of libraries and applications designed to facilitate the sharing of raw data and its analysis, is expected to bolster large-scale biological research and help improve the understanding of complex diseases. “Think of it like a Rosetta Stone — it translates multiple languages, but unlike the original, ProteoWizard is easy to use, widely available and easily expanded upon,” said Parag Mallick, the toolkit’s lead developer and director of clinical proteomics at the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

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October 12, 2012 : UCLA researchers’ discovery revives hope in promising lymphoma treatment

Researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered the mechanism by which an experimental drug known as GCS-100 removes from lymphoma cells a protein that prevents the cells from responding to chemotherapy. The discovery revives hope in a drug that had been tested in clinical trials years before but had been delayed indefinitely. The researchers hope GCS-100 can be combined with chemotherapy to create an effective treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. The findings are published in the advance online issue of the journal Blood and will appear in a forthcoming print issue of the journal.

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October 15, 2012 : UCLA researchers reveal how ’cleaving’ protein drives tumor growth in prostate, other cancers

Researchers led by Tanya Stoyanova and Dr. Owen Witte of UCLA’s Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have determined how a protein known as Trop2 drives the growth of tumor cells in prostate and other epithelial cancers. This discovery is important because it may prove essential for creating new therapies that stop the growth of cancer, the researchers said. The study is featured on the cover of the Oct. 15 issue of the journal Genes and Development. The Trop2 protein is expressed on the surface of many types of epithelial cancer cells — cells that form tumors that grow in the skin and the inner and outer linings of organs — but little was known about the protein’s role in the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.

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October 15, 2012 : UCLA engineers control thousands of cells simultaneously using magnetic nanoparticles

Using clusters of tiny magnetic particles about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have shown that they can manipulate how thousands of cells divide, morph and develop finger-like extensions. This new tool could be used in developmental biology to understand how tissues develop, or in cancer research to uncover how cancer cells move and invade surrounding tissues, the researchers said. The UCLA team’s findings were published online Oct. 14 in the journal Nature Methods. A cell can be considered a complex biological machine that receives an assortment of "inputs" and produces specific "outputs," such as growth, movement, division or the production of molecules. Beyond the type of input, cells are extremely sensitive to the location of an input, partly because cells perform "spatial multiplexing," reusing the same basic biochemical signals for different functions at different locations within the cell.

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October 16, 2012 : Bioengineers Lead NIH Center to Map the Gene Activities of Individual Cells in Human Cortex

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have received a $9.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a single-cell genomics center and develop a three-dimensional map of gene activities in individual cells in the human cortex. Researchers believe understanding variations between individual cells within the same tissue may be critical to understanding the origins of diseases, including brain disorders. The cerebral cortex is the outer layer of neural tissue responsible for cognitive functions including memory, attention and decisionmaking. “The cortex is a diverse and densely packed network of cells. We can better understand how this whole system works by studying the transcriptional activities of individual cells,” said Kun Zhang, a professor of bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the principal investigator of this five-year, interdisciplinary project.

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October 17, 2012 : Massive Planetary Collision May Have Zapped Key Elements from Moon

Fresh examinations of lunar rocks gathered by Apollo mission astronauts have yielded new insights about the moon’s chemical makeup as well as clues about the giant impacts that may have shaped the early beginnings of Earth and the moon. Geochemist James Day of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and colleagues Randal Paniello and Frédéric Moynier at Washington University in St. Louis used advanced technological instrumentation to probe the chemical signatures of moon rocks obtained during four lunar missions and meteorites collected from the Antarctic. The data revealed new findings about elements known as volatiles, which offer key information about how planets may have formed and evolved. The researchers discovered that the volatile element zinc, which they call “a powerful tracer of the volatile histories of planets,” is severely depleted on the moon, along with most other similar elements.

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October 17, 2012 : Study Finds Potential New Drug Therapy for Crohn’s Disease

Ustekinumab, an antibody proven to treat the skin condition psoriasis, has now shown positive results in decreasing the debilitating effects of Crohn’s Disease, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine. The study will appear in the October 18, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Results from the clinical trial showed ustekinumab (Stelara) increased clinical response and remission in patients suffering from moderate-to-severe Crohn’s Disease - a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can lead to a variety of distressing symptoms, including diarrhea, intestinal bleeding and weight loss. Serious complications such as bowel obstruction and abscesses can also occur.

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October 18, 2012 : UCLA’s heart transplant program ranked among nation’s best

The heart transplant program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has again been recognized as one of highest ranking in the nation by an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. UCLA’s program is one of only seven heart transplant centers nationwide — and the only one in California — to be ranked at the silver level by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has federal oversight of the nation’s organ donation and transplantation network.

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October 22, 2012 : Using Big Data to Save Lives

Computer scientists at the University of California, Riverside are working with a doctor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to mine data collected from pediatric intensive care units in hopes of helping doctors treat children and cutting health care costs. The researchers, led by Eamonn Keogh, a computer science professor at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering, have received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. “This data has the potential to be a gold mine of useful – literally life saving – information,” said Keogh, who specializes in data mining, which involves searching for patterns and irregularities in large data sets.

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October 22, 2010 : Bringing Power of Prevention, Diagnosis to the People

“A Mercedes Benz isn’t designed to function in the Sahara Desert,” notes Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer of the University of California, San Diego. “So why are we designing medical equipment for developing countries the same way we do for developed ones ? It’s a question researchers at the new Distributed Health Laboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego aim to address, and eventually, to render moot. In collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Calit2’s DH Lab is designing low-cost medical devices such as microscopes and wireless sensing devices that can be used by virtually anyone anywhere in the world to prevent and even diagnose illness.

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October 22, 2012 : USC researchers land NIH grant to develop pacemaker for unborn babies

A team of researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has landed a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help develop a tiny pacemaker for unborn babies with a potentially fatal heart problem called fetal heart block. “We needed this money to move our research forward,” said Yaniv Bar-Cohen, associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School, director of cardiac rhythm devices at CHLA and one of the project’s principal researchers.

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October 24, 2012 : Astronomers report dark matter ’halos’ may contain stars, disprove other theories

Could it be that dark matter "halos" — the huge, invisible cocoons of mass that envelop entire galaxies and account for most of the matter in the universe — aren’t completely dark after all but contain a small number of stars ? Astronomers from UCLA, UC Irvine and elsewhere make a case for that in the Oct. 25 issue of the journal Nature. Astronomers have long disagreed about why they see more light in the universe than it seems they should — that is, why the infrared light they observe exceeds the amount of light emitted from known galaxies. When looking at the cosmos, astronomers have seen what are neither stars nor galaxies nor a uniform dark sky but mysterious, sandpaper-like smatterings of light, which UCLA’s Edward L. (Ned) Wright refers to as "fluctuations." The debate has centered around what exactly the source of those fluctuations is.

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October 26, 2012 : Research on Nanocrystals to Move From Lab to Market

The University of California, Riverside has granted an exclusive license to The Idea Zoo, Inc., to commercialize nanotechnology research developed in the lab of Yadong Yin, an associate professor of chemistry. The Idea Zoo, a leading developer and licensor of advanced materials and technologies headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., was granted exclusive rights to seven patents that cover various aspects of advanced superparamagnetic colloidal nanocrystals (CNCs).

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October 31, 2012 : Professor secures funding to study patient advocacy

An innovative funding award linked to national health care reform efforts will enable Bruce Jansson, professor at the USC School of Social Work, to explore how health professionals can advocate for the needs of vulnerable patients. The two-year, $664,852 project is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit organization established through recent federal health care legislation to promote research that helps patients and caregivers make better-informed health decisions. Jansson will focus on patient advocacy, an emerging strategy to address critical issues in the health care system.

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October 1, 2012 : Therapy Repairs Ravaged Immune System

Gene therapy can safely restore immune function in children with severe combined immunodeficiency and allow some to stop taking painful weekly injections. The finding, from a small clinical trial, offers hope for children born with this deadly condition. Children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) can’t produce healthy microbe-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes. As a result, these children are susceptible to a wide range of infections. Most die by the age of 2 if untreated. One type of SCID arises from a faulty gene for the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA). Without this enzyme, toxic compounds build up in the body and inhibit the production of lymphocytes. Once- or twice-weekly injections of ADA can partly restore immune function. But this therapy is expensive and must continue for a lifetime.

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October 10, 2012 : NIH Grantees Win 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to National Institutes of Health grantees Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. ; and Brian K. Kobilka, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif., for studies of protein receptors that let body cells sense and respond to outside signals. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the researchers had made groundbreaking discoveries on an important family of receptors known as G-protein-coupled receptors. "About half of all medications, including beta blockers, antihistamines and various kinds of psychiatric medications, act through these receptors," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "NIH is proud to have supported this work, which began as basic science and ultimately led to dramatic medical advances." NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute began supporting the work of Dr. Lefkowitz in 1974 ; it has provided almost $15 million in support. Dr. Kobilka has received more than $14 million in support from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences since 1990.

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October 11, 2012 : Health care law increases access to primary care through the National Health Service Corps

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that $229.4 million was invested in the National Health Service Corps in 2012 to support more doctors and nurses and increase access to primary care. These investments included nearly 4,600 loan repayment and scholarship awards to clinicians and students, and grants to 32 states to support state loan repayment programs. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the National Health Service Corps is providing loans and scholarships to more doctors, nurses, and other health care providers, so more people get the care they need,” said Secretary Sebelius. “National Health Service Corps clinicians are providing care to approximately 10.4 million patients across the country.”

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October 11, 2012 : NIH researchers provide detailed view of brain protein structure

Researchers have published the first highly detailed description of how neurotensin, a neuropeptide hormone which modulates nerve cell activity in the brain, interacts with its receptor. Their results suggest that neuropeptide hormones use a novel binding mechanism to activate a class of receptors called G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). "The knowledge of how the peptide binds to its receptor should help scientists design better drugs," said Dr. Reinhard Grisshammer, a scientist at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and an author of the study published in Nature. Binding of neurotensin initiates a series of reactions in nerve cells. Previous studies have shown that neurotensin may be involved in Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, temperature regulation, pain, and cancer cell growth.

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October 15, 2012 : Intestinal Mending Depends on Key Protein

Scientists identified a protein that’s essential for mending injuries to the intestinal lining in mice. The finding might have implications for understanding and repairing damage to the human intestinal wall, which can be caused by factors including inflammatory bowel disease, infection and irradiation. The inner lining of the intestines is one of the most-often renewed surfaces in the human body, replenishing itself every 2 to 4 weeks. Lining replacement depends on stem cells stored within indentations called crypts, which are densely scattered across the intestine’s inner wall. When the lining is injured—for example, by infection or inflammation—crypts can be destroyed. Crypts can reappear, but their mechanism for renewal has been unclear.

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October 15, 2012 : New Insights into Breast Cancer

A careful analysis of genomic data showed that there are 4 primary subtypes of breast cancer, each with its own biology and survival outlook. One subtype shares many genetic features with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. The findings may help to guide future treatment strategies. Each year about 1.3 million new cases of breast cancer arise worldwide, contributing to about 450,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. It’s the most common cancer among women. Men can also develop breast cancer but account for a small fraction of cases. The majority of breast cancers are sporadic, meaning there is no family history of the disease. However, many genes can predispose a person to breast cancer.

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October 19, 2012 : FDA expands approved use of Sapien artificial heart valve

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved indication for the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve (THV) to include patients with aortic valve stenosis who are eligible for surgery, but who are at high risk for serious surgical complications or death. The FDA first approved the Sapien THV in 2011 for patients with inoperable aortic valve stenosis, a progressive, age-related disease. Calcium deposits on the aortic valve that cause it to narrow are a common cause of aortic valve stenosis. As the heart works harder to pump enough blood through the smaller opening, it eventually weakens. Aortic valve stenosis can lead to fainting, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias), or cardiac arrest.

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October 22, 2012 : FDA approves Fycompa to treat seizures

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Fycompa (perampanel) tablets to treat partial onset seizures in patients with epilepsy ages 12 years and older.Partial seizures are the most common type of seizure seen in people with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which there is abnormal or excessive activity of nerve cells in the brain. Partial seizures affect only a limited or localized area of the brain, but can spread to other parts of the brain. Seizures cause a wide range of symptoms, including repetitive limb movements (spasms), unusual behavior, and generalized convulsions with loss of consciousness.

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October 22, 2012 : Brain Protein Structure Offers Clues for Drug Design

Researchers have published the first highly detailed picture of how neurotensin, a molecule that plays an important role in the brain, interacts with its receptor. The achievement may help scientists design better drugs for certain disorders. Neurotensin is a peptide of just 13 amino acids (too short to be called a protein). Because it acts on neurons, or nerve cells, it’s called a neuropeptide. When neurotensin binds its receptor, neurotensin receptor (NTSR1), it initiates a series of reactions. The neuropeptide plays many roles in the brain and also regulates digestive processes in the gut. Previous studies have shown that neurotensin may be involved in Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, temperature regulation, pain and cancer cell growth.

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October 22, 2012 : Cell Phones Track Malaria’s Spread

Researchers used mobile phone data to track malaria parasite movements across Kenya. The results may help guide the design of more effective disease control programs. Nearly a million people die of malaria each year—mostly infants, young children and pregnant women, and most of them in Africa. The disease is caused by a single-cell parasite called Plasmodium. Female mosquitoes can become infected after feeding on an infected human. They, in turn, can infect a new person when they feed again. Malaria may bring fever, chills and flu-like illness. Left untreated, it can cause life-threatening complications. Both the parasites that cause malaria and the mosquitoes that carry them have been extensively studied. Less well understood has been how human travel affects the spread of the disease.

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October 28, 2012 : NIH researchers identify novel genes that may drive rare, aggressive form of uterine cancer

Researchers have identified several genes that are linked to one of the most lethal forms of uterine cancer, serous endometrial cancer. The researchers describe how three of the genes found in the study are frequently altered in the disease, suggesting that the genes drive the development of tumors. The findings appear in the Oct. 28, 2012, advance online issue of Nature Genetics. The team was led by researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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October 31, 2012 : The 1000 Genomes Project more than doubles catalog of human genetic variation

The world’s largest, most detailed catalog of human genetic variation — used by disease researchers around the world — has more than doubled in size with the 1000 Genomes Project’s latest publication in the Oct. 31 issue of Nature. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, helps fund and direct this international public-private consortium of researchers in the United States, Britain, China, Germany and Canada. Genetic variation explains part of why people look different and vary in their risk for diseases. The goal of the 1000 Genomes Project is to identify and compile variants in the human genome that occur at a frequency of at least 1 in 50 people.

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October 31, 2012 : Improved COPD Detection

A new technique can distinguish between different types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and track disease progression. The method could allow for more accurate diagnoses and lead to more effective treatments for COPD. COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. In people who have COPD, airway tubes to the lungs narrow, making it hard to get air in and out. COPD can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing that produces large amounts of mucus. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD in the United States, but the disease can have other roots as well.

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October 1, 2012 : ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi leaves ISS

Mission accomplished ! The ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi undocked from the ISS on 28 September at 23.44 CET. Under the watchful eye of engineers at the ATV-CC control centre at CNES in Toulouse, in the night of 2/3 October it will perform a controlled destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere over the South Pacific. Automated Transfer Vehicles resupply the ISS with everything needed to support operations on the only permanent orbital microgravity laboratory. The Edoardo Amaldi, the 3rd in the ATV series, carried a cargo comprising 3,400 kg of oxygen, air, water, equipment and food for the station’s astronaut crew. Edoardo Amaldi was carrying the heaviest dry cargo in the ATV series to date.

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October 9, 2012 : Charter opens up as France takes over chair

On 9 October, France, represented by CNES, took over the rotating chair of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, succeeding Japan for the next 6 months. The charter provides a mechanism to rapidly mobilize the satellites of its signatory space agencies and deliver imagery of disaster zones to civil protection agencies and the United Nations. Such imagery helps to expedite relief efforts in the event of an earthquake, flood or volcano eruption.

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October 10, 2012 : New type of cosmic ray discovered after 100 years

Using the European X-ray astronomy satellite XMM-Newton(1), researchers from CNRS(2) and CEA (3) have discovered a new source of cosmic rays. In the vicinity of the remarkable Arches cluster, near the center of the Milky Way, these particles are accelerated in the shock wave generated by tens of thousands of young stars moving at a speed of around 700,000 km/h. These cosmic rays produce a characteristic X-ray emission by interacting with the atoms in the surrounding gas. Their origin differs from that of the cosmic rays discovered exactly a hundred years ago by Victor Hess, which originate in the explosions of supernovae. The findings are published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

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October 17, 2012 : Rooting out the Cause of Blindness in Type 1 Usher Syndrome

Researchers from the Institut Pasteur, the Institut de la Vision, Inserm, and the Pierre and Marie Curie University have determined the cause of blindness associated with type 1 Usher syndrome (the most common genetic cause of deafness and blindness in humans). They have also shown why rodents, the only animal model currently available for research on this disease, are invulnerable to the vision loss observed in human patients. Their work will be the basis for future research towards producing an animal model in primates. If successful, this could lead to a therapeutic approach for treating blindness in patients with type 1 Usher syndrome. This research was published on October 8th in the Journal of Cell Biology.

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October 19, 2012 : Assembly of nano-machines mimics human muscle

For the first time, an assembly of thousands of nano-machines capable of producing a coordinated contraction movement extending up to around ten micrometers, like the movements of muscular fibers, has been synthesized by a CNRS team from the Institut Charles Sadron. This innovative work, headed by Nicolas Giuseppone, professor at the Université de Strasbourg, and involving researchers from the Laboratoire de Matière et Systèmes Complexes (CNRS/Université Paris Diderot), provides an experimental validation of a biomimetic approach that has been conceptualized for some years in the field of nanosciences. This discovery opens up perspectives for a multitude of applications in robotics, in nanotechnology for the storage of information, in the medical field for the synthesis of artificial muscles or in the design of other materials incorporating nano-machines (endowed with novel mechanical properties).

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October 19, 2012 : 4 Galileo satellites in orbit

Two new Galileo satellites were orbited Friday 12 October from French Guiana by a Soyuz launcher. After only 4 hours in flight, they had already reached an altitude close to 23,200 km. The FM3 and FM4 satellites were then put into the hands of operations teams from CNES and the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), based at the Toulouse space centre. The Saturday after the launch was devoted chiefly to a series of tests on the satellites’ thruster nozzles. On Sunday, the 2 spacecraft were switched to normal mode and oriented to face Earth.

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October 30, 2012 : The HOIL1 gene - the cause of a new rare disease

The researcher Capucine Picard, working with the team from Inserm unit 980 "Human genetics and infections diseases"/Université Paris Descartes under the leadership of Jean-Laurent Casanova, along with researchers from a CNRS/Institut Pasteur laboratory headed by Alain Israël have succeeded in identifying the part played by the HOIL1 gene in cases of paradoxal association of an immune deficiency with a chronic autoinflammatory deficiency and a muscular deficiency in 3 children from 2 different families. This study once more highlights the importance of genetics in the body’s response to infectious agents. These works were published on line in the review Nature Immunology, of 28.10.12.

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Public Health Seminar Series - Pain Management in Pediatric Oncology Patients
November 5, 2012 12 pm-1 pm
McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium, UC Irvine
Featured Speakers : Michelle Fortier (UCI)
For further information, please contact slink@uci.edu or 949.824.8214

Public Health Seminar Series - The Health Consequences of Asian Immigrant Integration
November 19, 2012 12 pm-1 pm
McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium
Featured Speakers : Annie Ro (UCLA), Mohammad Imran Khan (Internal Vaccine Institute)
For further information, please contact slink@uci.edu or 949.824.8214


General Biology Seminar - Functional Modules : what good are they, and how do we get them ?
November 6, 2012 4 pm
119 Kerckhoff, California Institute of Technology
Featured speakers : Margaret Livingstone (Harvard Medical School)
For further information, please contact Patricia Mindorff mindorff@caltech.edu

Center for the Chemistry of Cellular Signaling Seminar - Activated GTPase Movement on an RNA Scaffold Drives Cotranslational Protein Targeting
November 1, 2012 12 pm
151 Crellin, California Institute of Technology
Featured speakers : Kuang Shen (CalTech)
For further information, please contact Anna Arnold anordstr@caltech.edu


Exploring New Worlds with the Dawn Mission
November 8, 2012 7 pm
The von Karman Auditorium at JPL
November 9, 2012 7 pm
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
Featured speakers : Dr. Carol Raymond (JPL)


Pancreatic Cancer 2012 : Surgical & Medical Treatment
November 13, 2012 7 pm-9 pm
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium
Featured speakers : Timothy R. Donahue, MD, (UCLA), Zev Wainberg, MD, (UCLA)


Lung Cancer in 2012 : Are We Making Progress
November 15, 2012 4:30 pm-7:00 pm
Indian Wells Country Club Wellness Center
For further information, please contact erinwill@usc.edu or 213.740.6274


HCAO Fall 2012 Seminar Speaker Series - The Role of Research in Biomedical Sciences
November 2, 2012 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Biological Sciences 224, Cal State LA
Featured speakers : Parish P. Sedghizadeh, DDS
For further information, please contact 323.343.6062


The 6th Annual UC San Diego Advances in Minimally Invasive Surgery Symposium
November 8-10, 2012 from 1:00 pm
Medical Education and Telemedicine Building, UCSD
For further information, please contact Bermellyn Imamura ocme@ucsd.edu or 619.543.7602


Symposium to Celebrate Inder Verma’s 65th Birthday
November 19, 2012 10 am-5 pm
Featured speakers : David Baltimore, Anton Berns, Mike Bishop, Mark Groudine and more

Stem Cells and Metabolism
November 5-6, 2012
Abcam, The Salk Institute La Jolla, California
Featured speakers : SoCal Stem Cell Consortium Members & Sanford Consortium Staff
For further information, please contact Sarah Dolny sarah.dolny@abcam.com or 617.577.4263


Please consult Le Fil de Marianne for further information on international calls, job offers, and the Chateaubriand Fund.


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.

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 service scientifique 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, sont également disponibles en ligne.

Ce site offre des informations en Français sur l’actualité médicale et de la santé en France. Il propose une revue de presse quotidienne, consultable en ligne ou par newsletter, des articles et des comptes rendus de congrès médicaux. L’inscription (gratuite) est nécessaire pour accéder au contenu.

Newsletter du Genopole
Genopole est un pôle de compétitivité français spécialisé dans les biotechnologies et les biothérapies. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.

Newsletter Alsace-Biovalley
Alsace BioValley est un pôle de compétitivité français spécialisé dans les sciences de la vie et santé. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.

Newsletter LyonBioPole
LyonBioPole est un pôle de compétitivité français spécialisé dans les vaccins et le diagnostic. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.

Newsletter Medicen
Medicen est un pôle de compétitivité français situé en région parisienne, spécialisé dans la médecine translationnelle, les outils biologiques et la bio-numérique. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.

Newsletter EuroBiomed
EuroBiomed est un pôle de compétitivité français spécialisé dans le domaine de la santé et des sciences de la vie et couvrant les régions PACA et Languedoc-Roussillon. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.

Newsletter Cancer-Bio-Santé
Cancer-Bio-Santé est un pôle de compétitivité français spécialisé dans le domaine de la nutrition et de l’innovation pharmaceutique et du suivi des patients. La newsletter comprend des informations sur les appels à projets, les actions et les services offerts par le pôle.


Scitizen.com offers free access to more than 1200 articles in English, written by scientists for the general public, in various scientific fields.

Biosmartbrief is a newsletter service, offering information in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences and business. Register for free to receive a daily news update.

Bilat-USA and Link-2-US
These two programs have been created to offer an easy access to information regarding collaboration between the US and Europe. Online articles and a newsletter service are available


We value your feedback. Please send us your comments and suggestions at deputy-sdv.la@ambascience-usa.org.

Please also check the following websites and 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