Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #48 - March 2014

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On Thursday, March 6 at 7pm, the Alliance Française de Los Angeles will be hosting a “Café des Sciences” with the joint support of the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the US. Belgian-born planetary scientist Dr. Jean-Luc Margot of UCLA will be giving the presentation “Life in the Universe,” shedding a light on the field of astrobiology and what the field has to say about the habitability of other planets in the universe. Dr. Margot conducts research on habitable worlds with the help of some of the world’s best and largest telescopes. The evening’s presentation will be given in French and will be followed by a discussion in French and English. More information can be found at http://www.afdela.org/CafedesSceinces.php

In late April, special counselor to the chairman and CEO of INSERM Dr. Jean-Marc Egly will be visiting Southern California during his American tour to speak about research career opportunities in France. Young scientists in the life sciences are encouraged to attend, as Dr. Egly will speak about the French National Alliance for Life Science and Health (Aviesan), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and the Atip-Avenir Program which gives young researchers the opportunity to set up and run a research team in France. He will visit UC Irvine and the Saban Research Institute (29 April) and then the Scripps Institute (30 April).

Information about other upcoming events and ongoing competitions (such as the French-American Biotechnology Symposium (FABS) call for proposals or the "Innovation Connecting Show" to be held in Toulouse, France in September 2014) can be found toward the end of this newsletter or online at http://www.France-Science.org/.

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




February 3, 2014 : Split decision: stem cell signal linked with cancer growth.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a protein critical to hematopoietic stem cell function and blood formation. The finding has potential as a new target for treating leukemia because cancer stem cells rely upon the same protein to regulate and sustain their growth.

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February 6, 2014 : Dental study provides wealth of stem cell details.

A Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study has uncovered new details on how bundles of nerves and arteries interact with stem cells and also showcases revolutionary techniques for following the cells as they function in living animals.

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February 6, 2014 : Global regulator of mRNA editing found

Protein controls editing, expanding the information content of DNA

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February 11, 2014: Scientists create first map of brain “scaffold”

For the first time, neuroscientists have systematically identified the white matter “scaffold” of the human brain, the critical communications network that supports brain function.

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February 13, 2014 : Protein switch dictates cellular fate: stem cell or neuron

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that a well-known protein has a new function: It acts in a biological circuit to determine whether an immature neural cell remains in a stem-like state or proceeds to become a functional neuron.

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February 20, 2014 : A changing view of bone marrow cells

Caltech researchers show that the cells are actively involved in sensing infection

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February 20, 2014 : Bevacizumab prolongs survival in advanced cervical cancer, UC Irvine-led trial finds

Results have already changed treatment guidelines

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February 24, 2014 : Study Evaluates Role of Infliximab in Treating Kawasaki Disease

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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February 24, 2014 : California’s first MRI-guided laser treatment for brain cancer

Antibody treatment helps children with dangerous heart disorder

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February 25, 2014 : Can kava cure cancer?

UC Irvine study of plant compound’s effectiveness against bladder malignancies has yielded promising results

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February 25, 2014 : Experimental treatment developed at UCLA eradicates acute leukemia in mice

A diverse team of scientists from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects. The drug works by blocking two important metabolic pathways that the leukemia cells need to grow and spread.

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February 27, 2014 : USC study first to offer detailed map of mouse’s cerebral cortex

The mammalian cerebral cortex, long thought to be a dense single interrelated tangle of neural networks, actually has a “logical” underlying organizational principle, according to a study appearing in the journal Cell.

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February 28, 2014 : Long-term study confirms success of method for detecting spread of deadly skin cancer

Research at UCLA on a technique for detecting the earliest spread of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has confirmed that the procedure significantly prolongs patients’ survival rates compared with traditional "watch and wait" techniques.

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February 19, 2014 : FDA and European Medicines Agency strengthen collaboration in pharmacovigilance area

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have set-up a new ’cluster’ on pharmacovigilance (medicine safety) topics. Clusters are regular collaborative meetings between the EMA and regulators outside of the European Union, which focus on specific topic areas that have been identified as requiring an intensified exchange of information and collaboration. Building on the experience of previous regular videoconferences between the FDA and the EMA in this area and on the recent creation of the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee, this cluster will provide a forum for a more systematic and focused exchange of information on the safety of medicines.

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February 25, 2014 : FDA approves Myalept to treat rare metabolic disease

On Feb. 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Myalept (metreleptin for injection) as replacement therapy to treat the complications of leptin deficiency, in addition to diet, in patients with congenital generalized or acquired generalized lipodystrophy.

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February 26, 2014 : NIH researchers identify mutation linked to severe form of Cushing’s syndrome

Mutation in related gene found in patient with Carney Complex

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February 12, 2014 : Why does the brain remember dreams?

Some people recall a dream every morning, whereas others rarely recall one. A team led by Perrine Ruby, an Inserm Research Fellow at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (Inserm/CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), has studied the brain activity of these two types of dreamers in order to understand the differences between them. In a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, the researchers show that the temporo-parietal junction, an information-processing hub in the brain, is more active in high dream recallers. Increased activity in this brain region might facilitate attention orienting toward external stimuli and promote intrasleep wakefulness, thereby facilitating the encoding of dreams in memory.

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February 11, 2014 : Are wind farms changing Europe’s climate ?

The development of wind farms in Europe only has an extremely limited impact on the climate at the continental scale, and this will remain true until at least 2020. These are the main conclusions of a study carried out by researchers from CNRS, CEA and UVSQ1, in collaboration with INERIS and ENEA, the Italian agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable development. These results were established using climate simulations that included the effect on the atmosphere of wind farms located in Europe, on the basis of a realistic scenario forecasting a two-fold increase in wind energy production by 2020, in accordance with European countries’ commitments. Published on the website of the journal Nature Communications on 11 February 2014, the work highlights the importance of carrying out fresh studies to assess the impact of wind energy development by 2050.

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February 20, 2014 : Enhancement of chemotherapy by prevention of tumour cell repair

Chemotherapies are cancer treatments that work by inducing lesions in the DNA of tumour cells in order to inhibit their proliferation. However, the body naturally tries to repair these lesions, and thus reduces the efficacy of chemotherapy. Blocking the
mechanisms for DNA repair would help to potentiate chemotherapy by reducing the resistance of cells to treatment. A team of researchers directed by Frédéric Coin, Inserm Research Director at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC)
in Strasbourg (a Joint Inserm/CNRS/University of Strasbourg Research Unit), has discovered a new drug that inhibits repair: spironolactone, which seems likely to be used in the very short term as an adjuvant to chemotherapy.

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Cellular Homeostasis Lecture Series
"Ethanol-induced modifications of Hepatocellular Proteins: Implications and Interpretations"
March 6 – 12:00 pm
McKibben Hall 156
Featured Speaker: Dr. Dennis Peterson, University of Colorado
More Information: https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/908289


Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series
When Rocks Roll: How Sediment Transport Shapes Planetary Surfaces
March 19 – 8:00pm
Beckman Auditorium
Featured Speaker: Michael P. Lamb

UC Irvine

Evolution and God: Conflict and Concert
March 7 – 4:00pm
Biological Sciences 3 Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker: Dr. Francisco J. Ayala, UC Irvine


March of Dimes Lecture
Normal and Neoplastic Stem Cells
March 20 – 4:00pm
Featured Speaker: Dr. Irving Weissman, Stanford

Science and Music Series
March 16 – 4:00pm
Salk Auditorium
Featured Performers: Sen Lee and Karen Joy Davis
Featured Speaker: Marc Montminy, Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology
More information: music@salk.edu or (858) 453-4100 ext 2098

French American Biotech Symposium (FABS) Call for Project – Deadline: 23 May 2014

The Office for Science and Technology (OST) is currently searching for a French partner to co-organize the 2015-2016 edition of the French American Biotech Symposium (FABS). Since 2008, the OST has organized a new type of Franco-American one to two-day workshop, centered on the research in these two countries and on organizing exchanges and collaborations between the two. Previous co-organizers have included LyonBiopole and Eurobiomed, with symposium themes including approaches to infectious diseases, aging, and other subjects on health and medicine.

More information about the event, the post, and the application process can be found at: http://france-science.org/Call-for-Proposals-French-American,2568.html.

“Life Sciences: Inventing – Creating – Having Fun” – Deadline: 13 April 2014

The Office for Science and Technology 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.

For more information:

The International Exhibition of Innovation and Competitiveness – 16-18 September 2014 – Toulouse, France

The first international cross-cutting forum dedicated to generic technologies and their applications

From September 16 to 18, 2014, the first edition of the Innovation Connecting Show will bring together more than 700 international exhibitors of breakthrough innovations and an expected 20,000 visitors at the Parc des Expositions in Toulouse. As a “technopolis” of knowledge, the “Pink City” will raise the banner of international competitiveness, imagining key generic technologies meeting application challenges

The Innovation Connecting Show promotes tomorrow’s breakthrough technologies, which are the key element of competitiveness and growth for businesses. ICS is a place for "product", "service" and "process" innovations to meet with their future application markets. As such, it aims to promote pioneering partnerships and transfers between sectors, through the development and demonstration of key generic technologies - a global market expected to grow 8% by 2015 – reaching 1 trillion euros.

By extension, the ICS will be a vector of synergies between pioneering businesses, training and research centers, territorial institutions, the French state, Europe and large international institutions. Centralized into 14 sectors, these pioneering businesses and their private and institutional partners will be grouped by business clusters, and by French and international clusters. The 20 000 visitors expected during the show will be able to discover them in one of the 400 booths. 1,000 global innovation leaders invited to the event from all around the globe -
Website : http://www.ics-show.com/


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


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.

La Mission 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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