Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #66 – September 2015

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Although the end of summer is slowly approaching, we at the Office for Science and Technology are looking forward to what the upcoming academic year has in store. We would like to recap on the summer’s last batch of remarkable research and inform you about some of the exciting events kicking off the new school year.

Professor Christian Guilleminault - We are very excited to announce that French scientist, Dr. Christian Guilleminault, of Stanford University, will be receiving the AAMS Hippocrates Award for Contribution to Medicine with Myofunctional Therapy at the very first Congress of the Academy of Applied Myofunctional Sciences (AAMS), which will be taking place on September 9-13, 2015, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. In addition, our compatriot will participate in three panel discussions and deliver a keynote address at the Congress. As one of the pioneers of the field of sleep medicine, Dr. Guilleminault is also the field’s most published and cited researcher and on the Advisory Board of the AAMS. We congratulate Professor Guilleminault on his great accomplishment and on his wonderful contributions to the world of sleep medicine. To read the full article, please follow this link.

Paris French Tech Ticket program launch: grow your startup in France! Only few more days to get your ticket to Paris and launch your start-up in a unique tech ecosystem. Deadline for applications is September 15th, first laureates should be in France as soon as January 2016. France has decided to expand its French Tech initiative by launching the Paris French Tech Ticket program to attract foreign investors interested in creating or expanding their startups in Paris. For more information about the program (eligibility criteria, calendar of events, partner incubators) visit the French Tech Ticket website.

2015 "Life Sciences: inventing - creating - having fun" – The Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate general of France in Los Angeles would like to wish good luck to the 8 French teams who have been selected to receive a "Life Sciences" grant to participate in iGEM (international Genetically Engineered Machine), a synthetic biology competition hosted in Boston, MA. On September 24-28, 2015, they will attend a Jamboree at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, among 270 teams from all over the world, to present their project and all the work they have accomplished in the past 6 months. For more information about the teams, please follow this link.

GloSho 2015 - The LACI Cleantech Global Showcase is back ! (GloSho’15): the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is business incubator that specializes in developing clean technology for businesses in Los Angeles. LACI recently reached a major milestone upon establishing their new La Kretz Innovation Campus. This 60,000 square foot building is located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles, and is equipped with newly renovated spaces and access to LADWP laboratories to best help its members support cleantech development in Los Angeles. LACI will also be hosting its third annual Cleantech Global Showcase (GloSho’15) on October 21-22, 2015, which will be attended by cleantech industry professionals and experts. For more information on the GloSho’15, please visit: http://glosho.la/

We would also like to welcome Freddie Papazyan as our new intern at the Office for Science and Technology in Los Angeles. Freddie is a senior at the University of Southern California and an avid francophile who spent a semester last year studying at SciencesPo Paris.

Freddie Papazyan, 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 September 2015 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.



August 6, 2015: Here’s what science is learning about zombie cells

Researchers at USC have developed a yeast model to study a gene mutation that disrupts the duplication of DNA, causing massive damage to a cell’s chromosomes, while somehow allowing the cell to continue dividing.

To access the full article:

August 13, 2015: Newly Discovered Cells Regenerate Liver Tissue Without Forming Tumors

The mechanisms that allow the liver to repair and regenerate itself have long been a matter of debate. Now researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a population of liver cells that are better at regenerating liver tissue than ordinary liver cells, or hepatocytes.

To access the full article:

August 17, 2015: Speedy treatment of stroke patients with new clot retrieval device vastly improves outcomes

In the treatment of stroke patients, time really is brain. A few minutes can mean the difference between patients living independently or suffering debilitating disabilities. Now, UCLA researchers have shown, for the first time, that speedy treatment with a new-generation stent clot retrieval device results in greatly improved outcomes, and that even a five-minute delay negatively affects patients.

To access the full article:

August 13, 2015: Astronomers Analyze the Atmosphere of a ‘Young Jupiter’ Exoplanet

Astronomers have found thousands of planets outside our solar system. Almost all of these exoplanets were detected by measuring periodic changes in the light from their stars.

To access the full article:

August 17, 2015: Smoking Cessation Drug Not Boosting Number of Smokers Who Quit

The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006, has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

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August 18, 2015: Small heartbeats: Medical team creates first micropacemaker for fetuses

When fetuses come down with a treatable disease, the result can still be fatal. That’s because their tiny size and constant movement make it difficult for doctors to treat them in utero.

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August 12, 2015: A Living Laboratory

On May 19, 2015, near Refugio State Beach, thousands of gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline fed by offshore platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel. Within hours, UC Santa Barbara’s David Valentine and volunteers from his lab were on site collecting samples. They came back twice the next day and have returned many times over the past three months.

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August 6, 2015: A Sticky Situation

Wet adhesion is a true engineering challenge. Marine animals such as mussels, oysters and barnacles are naturally equipped with the means to adhere to rock, buoys and other underwater structures and remain in place no matter how strong the waves and currents.

Synthetic wet adhesive materials, on the other hand, are a different story.

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August 10, 2015: Testing for toxins

Novel detection method co-developed at UCI ensures that drinking water sources are not compromised by algae blooms.

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August 17, 2015 : Scientists uncover nuclear process in the brain that may affect disease

Every brain cell has a nucleus, or a central command station. Scientists have shown that the passage of molecules through the nucleus of a star-shaped brain cell, called an astrocyte, may play a critical role in health and disease. The study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

To access the full article:


August 10, 2015: Paralyzed Men Gain Movement Without Surgery

The spinal cord is the central nerve cable connecting the brain to the rest of the body. Damaged can lead to serious disabilities, including paralysis. More than a quarter of a million Americans are now living with spinal cord injuries.

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August 17, 2015: Development of new anthrax vaccine underway with HHS support

A new anthrax vaccine that could be easier and faster to produce than the existing licensed product will undergo initial clinical studies through an agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Pfenex, Inc. of San Diego.

To access the full article:

August 17, 2015: ’Yellow chemistry’ turns sulfur waste into plastics
While many scientists are hard at work on "green chemistry" projects that will benefit the environment, there are a handful of researchers at the University of Arizona who are starting a trend of their own—"yellow chemistry." That’s because their main ingredient is sulfur, a yellow waste product from petroleum refining and natural gas production.
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August 5, 2015: Bacteria that prevent type 1 diabetes

Our bodies have ten times more microbes than human cells. This set of bacteria is called microbiota. In some instances, bacteria known as pathogens can cause infectious diseases. However, these micro-organisms can also protect us from certain diseases. Researchers from Inserm, Paris Descartes University and the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), in collaboration with teams from China and Sweden, have recently shown how microbiota protects against the development of type 1 diabetes in mice. This research is published in the Immunity journal, dated 4 August 2015.

To access the full article:

August 4, 2015: Missing piece surfaces in the puzzle of autism

A study carried out by the Laboratoire Neurobiologie des Interactions Cellulaires et Neurophysiopathologie (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université), in collaboration with clinicians from Marseilles Public Hospitals (AP-HM) and scientists from the Salk Institute in San Diego (US), has revealed a new gene that plays a crucial role during early development in humans and whose under-expression may induce certain autistic traits. This work is published on 4 August 2015 in Molecular Psychiatry.

To access the full article:

August 4, 2015: Missing piece surfaces in the puzzle of autism

A study carried out by the Laboratoire Neurobiologie des Interactions Cellulaires et Neurophysiopathologie (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université), in collaboration with clinicians from Marseilles Public Hospitals (AP-HM) and scientists from the Salk Institute in San Diego (US), has revealed a new gene that plays a crucial role during early development in humans and whose under-expression may induce certain autistic traits. This work is published on 4 August 2015 in Molecular Psychiatry.

To access the full article:

August 11, 2015: The ISG15 protein plays a key role in fighting bacterial infections

When human cells are infected by an invading microbe, they activate a defensive program which produces hundreds of genes. Some of these genes have been described to have anti-viral or anti-bacterial functions, while others remain relatively understudied. One such protein is called ISG15. ISG15 is a biubiquitin-protein that can chemically attach to other proteins and is known to help cells fight viral infections. However, it is not clear what role ISG15 plays in fighting bacterial infections.

To access the full article:

August 4, 2015: Glutamate, a new player in addiction
In the context of drug taking, dopamine levels rise in the cerebral structures that form the reward system. The intensity and rapidity of dopamine release provide a basis for the processes that will lead to the development of addiction. The cholinergic neurons in the nucleus accumbens, one of the centers of reward, are known to regulate this dopamine release. While most neurons only release a single neurotransmitter, a French-Canadian team led by CNRS researcher Salah El Mestikawy showed in 2002 that these acetylcholine-using neurons are also able to utilize glutamate. These neurons, which are to some extent “bilingual”, can thus both activate (via acetylcholine) and inhibit (via glutamate) dopamine secretion.

To access the full article:




USC Stem Cell Seminar
September 08, 2015 – 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center Auditorium, 1st floor conference room
Featured Speaker: Sean Morrison, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
More Information: http://www.keck.usc.edu/events/usc-stem-cell-seminar-2015-09-08/

MFD - Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Distinguished Lecture: Megan Robertson
September 17, 2015 – 12:45 pm - 02:00 pm
Location: James H. Zumberge Hall Of Science (ZHS) - 159
Featured Speaker: Megan Robertson, University of Houston
More Information: http://viterbi.usc.edu/news/events/?event=13318#user_options


The Next Wave Series: Down to Drops or Still at Gallons? The State of California’s Water Supply
September 24, 2015 – 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater
Featured Speakers: Jay Famiglietti and Peter H. Gleick
More Information: http://happenings.ucla.edu/lectures/event/174061


Plant Propagation
September 5, 2015 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Palo Verde 7000 Palo Verde Road Irvine, Ca 92697
More Information: http://today.uci.edu/events/event/plant-propagation/

Foodscapes VIII; Social Diversity
September 16, 2015 - 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: Anteater Recreation Center 680 California Ave. Irvine, CA 92697
More Information: http://today.uci.edu/events/event/foodscapes-viii-social-diversity/


Organic Chemistry Seminar
September 3, 2015 – 4:00 pm
Location: Crellin 151, Caltech
More Information: http://www.cce.caltech.edu/content/organic-chemistry-seminar-211

High Energy Theory Seminar
September 25, 2015 – 11:00 am
Location: Lauritsen 469 – George W. Downs Laboratory of Physics and Charles C. Lauritsen Laboratory of High Energy Physics, Caltech
Featured Speaker: Vladimir Kazakov, l’Ecole Normale Supérieure et d’Université Paris
More Information: http://www.caltech.edu/content/high-energy-theory-seminar-454

University of Arizona

Care About Climate Road Trip to Paris Event
September 28, 2015 – 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Environment and Natural Resources 2 Building S225 University of Arizona
Featured Speaker: Natalie Lucas
More Information: http://www.portal.environment.arizona.edu/events/care-about-climate-road-trip-paris-event

Climatic Changes and Their Effects on Rainfall in Hawai‘i
September 22, 2015 – 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: Bryant Bannister Tree-Ring Building (Building 45b), Room 110
Featured Speaker: Oliver Elison Timm, State University of New York at Albany
More Information: http://ltrr.arizona.edu/event/2599

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

Neural circuits mediate innate and learned olfactory behaviors
September 15, 2015 – 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: DNC Auditorium
Featured Speaker: Cory M. Root, Ph.D., Columbia University, Dept. of Neuroscience, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Filovirus (Ebola and Marburg) Membrane Fusion and Immunotherapy
September 22, 2015 – 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: MBB2N – The Committee Lecture Hall
Featured Speaker: Jonathan R. Lai, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY


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