Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #36 - March 2013

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Every week, the Office for Science and Technology of the French Embassy, in collaboration with l’Agence pour la Diffusion de l’Information Technologique (ADIT), publishes articles in the Bulletins Electroniques (http://www.bulletins-electronique.com, United States section). These articles provide information about the latest in scientific research and technological advances in the United States. These bulletins are available for no charge and are accessed by thousands of readers. Currently, we are looking for people who are interested in writing articles about advances in scientific research or factors that affect scientific research (funding schemes, politics, technology, etc.). Though all BE are published in French on the website, your article may be written in English and the OST will be happy to translate the article. For more information about the BE please consult the website mentioned above, and if you are interested in writing for the BE please contact Aurélie Perthuison at deputy-sdv.la@ambascience-usa.org.

Christine Stafford, 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 March 2013 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




February 11, 2013: Newly identified natural protein blocks HIV, other deadly viruses

The CH25H enzyme has broad virus-fighting properties and potentially could be used as a weapon against deadly pathogens that cause HIV, Ebola and Rift Valley Fever.

To access the full article:

February 11, 2013: Going Viral

UCI microbiologist Bert Semler seeks to stop certain viruses from replicating, changing the way we fight the common cold and other illnesses.

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February 12, 2013: Cheap, strong lithium-ion battery developed at USC

Researchers at USC have developed a new lithium-ion battery design that uses porous silicon nanoparticles in place of the traditional graphite anodes to provide superior performance.

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February 13, 2013: UA Scientists Help Discover Most Abundant Ocean Virus

Researchers have discovered four previously unknown viruses that infect the Earth’s most abundant organism, the marine bacterium SAR11. Because of their huge numbers, these tiny players have critical roles in the global cycle of carbon and other nutrients.

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February 19, 2013: UCLA scientists develop new therapeutics that could accelerate wound healing

By combining a signaling molecule with a polymer, the team created a therapy that mimics the body’s natural ability to heal itself and that can be shipped and stored safely.

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February 20, 2013: New Injectable Hydrogel Encourages Regeneration and Improves Functionality After a Heart Attack

University of California, San Diego bioengineers have demonstrated in a study in pigs that a new injectable hydrogel can repair damage from heart attacks, help the heart grow new tissue and blood vessels, and get the heart moving closer to how a healthy heart should. The results of the study were published Feb. 20 in Science Translational Medicine and clear the way for clinical trials to begin this year in Europe. The gel is injected through a catheter without requiring surgery or general anesthesia—a less invasive procedure for patients.

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February 20, 2013: Mayo Clinic Provides New Treatment for Acid Reflux Disease

Ring of magnetic beads prevents acid from leaking into esophagus, a frequent cause of pain.

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February 21, 2013: ASU, Australian Solar Institute collaborate of projects to advance energy solutions

As part of a global cause to bolster solar power technologies, Arizona State University researchers are taking part in three new solar energy projects funded by the Australian and U.S. governments. The investment for these projects includes $68 million for two, eight-year research programs and $15.5 million for 11 collaborative projects.

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February 21, 2013: Scientists unlock the why and how of an age-old treatment

A team from USC and Harvard University has uncovered a key biological mechanism that makes aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids effective at reducing inflammation.

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February 22, 2013: UCLA researchers further refine ‘NanoVelcro’ device to grab single cancer cells from blood

By "grabbing" these cells, doctors can perform a "liquid" biopsy, allowing for earlier detection and better monitoring of cancer progression and treatment.

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February 4, 2013: Dengue Vaccine Shows Early Promise

Just one dose of a low-cost vaccine proved safe and stimulated a strong immune response against the dengue virus in most participants in an early-stage clinical trial. With further development, the vaccine may help ease the burden of dengue fever in developing countries.

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February 4, 2013: Strategy May Improve Survival after Shock

Scientists found that blocking digestive enzymes in rat intestines increases survival, reduces organ damage and improves recovery after shock. The innovative approach may lead to therapies to improve patient outcome following shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure.

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February 14, 2013: FDA approves first retinal implant for adults with rare genetic eye disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, the first implanted device to treat adult patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The device, which includes a small video camera, transmitter mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, video processing unit (VPU) and an implanted retinal prosthesis (artificial retina), replaces the function of degenerated cells in the retina (a membrane inside the eye) and may improve a patient’s ability to perceive images and movement. The VPU transforms images from the video camera into electronic data that is wirelessly transmitted to the retinal prosthesis.

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February 20, 2013: NIH launches study of long-term effects of blood glucose during pregnancy

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health plan to determine whether elevated blood sugar during pregnancy, a less–severe condition than gestational diabetes, influences later levels of body fat in children and development of diabetes in mothers after giving birth.

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February 22, 2013: FDA approves new treatment for late-stage breast cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), a new therapy for patients with HER2-positive, late-stage (metastatic) breast cancer.

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February 28, 2013: NIH develops improved mouse model of alcoholic liver disease

Scientists may be better able to study how heavy drinking damages the liver using a new mouse model of alcohol drinking and disease developed by researchers from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The model incorporates chronic and binge drinking patterns to more closely approximate alcoholic liver disease in humans than any existing method. A report of the new model appears in the March issue of the journal Nature Protocols.

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February 7, 2013: Treatment of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis: Study of Phase III Shows Antibiotic Cream Has High Cure Rate, Few Side Effects

TUNIS – An international research partnership from Tunisia, France and the United States has demonstrated a high cure rate and remarkably few side effects in treating patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) with an antibiotic cream. CL is a parasitic disease that causes disfiguring lesions and affects 1.5 million people worldwide annually, including the socio-economically disadvantaged in the developing world, especially children. The results of the study conducted by the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, the Institut Pasteur (Paris) and U.S. medical researchers were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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February 8, 2013: Cervical cancer: first 3D image of an HPV oncoprotein

For the first time, researchers from the Laboratoire biotechnologie et signalisation cellulaire at the Strasbourg-based Ecole supérieure de biotechnologie (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg) and Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg/Inserm) have solved the three-dimensional structure of an important oncoprotein involved in cell proliferation and in the development of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Type 16 (HPV 16), which causes cervical cancer, is the most dangerous of human papilloma viruses. This work, published in Science on 8 February 2013, should make it possible to identify and improve medication to block the protein and prevent it from causing tumors.

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February 21, 2013: COMBACTE: A new step in the fight against resistance to antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance represents is a growing problem in public health due the increasing rarity of antibiotics capable of combating resistant bacteria. The COMBACTE project, that has just obtained 195 million euros worth of finance from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), aims to work to develop new antibiotics and introduce a successful clinical trials platform combining private and public research.

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February 24, 2013: Lynch Syndrome: structural biology in the service of diagnostic support

Researchers at the CEA, CNRS and Université Paris-Sud have presented the first model of the architecture of the MLH1 protein associated with Lynch syndrome, a genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer. This atomic level “image” of MLH1 will lead to better understanding of the genetic processes that cause the disease. This result is the starting point of a clinical diagnostic support project with La Timone University Hospital (Marseille public hospital system) and Institut Curie (Paris) to target treatments based on numerous variants of this anomaly. The research was published (online) in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology on February 24.

To access the full article:

February 27, 2013: Renewable energy: Nanotubes to channel osmotic power

The salinity difference between fresh water and salt water could be a source of renewable energy. However, power yields from existing techniques are not high enough to make them viable. A solution to this problem may now have been found. A team led by physicists at the Institut Lumière Matière in Lyon (CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), in collaboration with the Institut Néel (CNRS), has discovered a new means of harnessing this energy: osmotic flow through boron nitride nanotubes generates huge electric currents, with 1,000 times the efficiency of any previous system. To achieve this result, the researchers developed a highly novel experimental device that enabled them, for the first time, to study osmotic fluid transport through a single nanotube. Their findings are published in the 28 February issue of Nature.

To access the full article:





Geological and Planetary Sciences Seminar
Tropical Convection, Waves, and Climate
March 11, 2013, 4:00 pm
115 Arms, Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall
Featured speaker: Zhiming Kuang (Harvard University)
For further information, please contact Liz Boyd at miura@gps.caltech.edu

The Resnick Sustainability Institute Chen-Huang Sustainable Energy Series
A Discussion with Steve Koonin
March 14, 2013, 8:00 pm
Ramo Auditorium
Featured Speakers: Nate Lewis and Steve Koonin (both California Institute of Technology)
For further information, please contact Heidi Rusina at hmrusina@caltech.edu


The von Kármán Lecture Series: 2013
There and Back Again: The Migration of Robotic Arm Technology from Mars to Earth
March 14, 7:00 pm
The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
March 15, 7:00 pm
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
Featured Speaker: Brett Kennedy (Supervisor; Robotic Vehicles and Manipulators Group Cognizant Engineer; MSL Robotic Arm)


Why Intermittent Energetic Challenges are Necessary for Optimal Brain Health
March 14, 2013, 4:00 pm
Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium, Salk Institute
Featured Speaker: Mark P. Mattson (National Institute on Aging)
For further information, please contact jdurocher@salk.edu


Cowpea Mosaic Virus: A Platform for the Productino of Vaccines, Antibodies and Nanoparticles in Plants
March 8, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Featured Speaker: George Lomonossoff (John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom)
For further information, please contact calendar@scripps.edu

Endogenous Retroelements and Autoimmune Disease
March 28, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Featured Speaker: Daniel B. Stetson (University of Washington)
For further information, please contact calendar@scripps.edu


SoCal Flow Cytometry Summit Meeting
March 25 & 26, 2013
Beckman Center, UCI
For further information, please contact vanessa.s@uci.edu


IMED Seminar
March 20, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Neuroscience Research Bldg. – Auditorium – Room 132
Featured speaker: Fred Gage, PhD (Salk Institute)
For further information, please contact mweiner@mednet.ucla.edu

Diagnosing and Treating BPD in Adolescents and Young Adults
March 22, 7:30am – 5:00 pm
Ackerman Union Venue – Grand Ballroom (2400)
For further information, please contact rkissell@ucla.edu


Can We Alter the Course of Neurocognitive Impairment Among Older HIV-infected Adults?
March 12, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Stein Clinical Research Building, Room 148
For further information, please contact Maya Gawroska at maja@ucsd.edu

9th Annual San Diego Race for Autism
March 30, 7:00 am – 12:00 pm
Balboa Park
For further information, please contact info@nfar.org


Everything You Wanted to Know about Prostate Cancer Plus More
March 21, 4:30pm to 7:00pm
Indian Wells Country Club Wellness Center
Featured speakers: Eric L. Chang, M.D. and Dan Park, PAC
RSVP required
For further information, please contact erinwill@usc.edu


NanoArt Imagery Contest

For Students working with Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM)

NanoTox and the Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University established a monthly contest for students working with Scanning Electron Microscopes to Support the atmosphere of discovery and wonder that nanotech research represents. Our goal is for the participants to have fun and to promote the public’s awareness of nanotechnology.

Winners are selected and awarded $200 each month, the contest is open to all post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and winning images will be displayed on the Smalley Institute Website and nanoTox Academy.

For more information please contact Kimberly Kelly at kkelly@nanotox.com

"LIFE SCIENCES: inventing - creating - having fun"

Grants from 1,000 euros to 3,000 euros per project

The Office of Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States of America will financially support French teams which participate in scientific competitions, contests or games organized by the United States and specializing in the Life Sciences.

The OST hopes this program will encourage students and researchers to participate in exchanges with the United States, initiate collaborations between French and American scientists and promote participation in the sciences.


For more information, please visit : http://www.france-science.org/Call-for-projects-2013-LIFE.html


Please consult Le Fil de Marianne for further information on international calls and job offers. http://www.france-science.org/Fil-de-Marianne-lettre-d.html


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.


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