Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #67 – October 2015

, Share

As universities around the nation are getting into the swing of things, we at the Office for Science and Technology would like to share this term’s first batch of scientific discoveries. We hope that you also take the opportunity to attend any of the wonderful events taking place this October.

GloSho 2015 - The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a Los Angeles-based business incubator that helps local firms reduce their environmental impact through the development of cleantech. LACI will be throwing its Cleatech Global Showcase (GloSho’15) on October 21-22, 2015. The third annual GloSho will be attended by professionals and experts involved with the cleantech industry. LACI also recently opened its brand new La Kretz Innovation Campus in the bustling Arts District of Downtown LA. This 60,000 square foot facility is equipped with LADWP laboratories among other resources to best facilitate the development of cleantech in our city.

To learn more about LACI, please visit: http://laincubator.org/
More information on the GloSho’15 can be found at: http://glosho.la/
For more about LACI’s new La Kretz Innovation Campus, please visit: http://laincubator.org/la-kretz-innovation-campus/

On September 17-18, 2015, the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) hosted a kick-off meeting of the new CNRS French-American International Associated Laboratory (Laboratoire International Associé - LIA) on nanoelectronics with the Université Paris-Sud and the Université de Lorraine. This LIA was officially inaugurated by the Consul General of France in Los Angeles, Mr. Christophe Lemoine. After a decade-long collaboration between three main scientists (Eric Fullerton - UCSD, Dafiné Ravelosona - Université Paris-Sud, Stéphane Mangin - Université de Lorraine), multiple achievements and a successful Partner University Fund project, a new milestone has been reached with this "laboratory without walls". The two-day kick-off meeting gathered key leaders from both countries and was dedicated to fostering further French-American collaborations in research and education.

We at the Office for Science and Technology are saying goodbye to our Deputy Attaché, Viviane Chansavang, who has been with us for two years. She will be missed, but we wish her the very best of luck in her future endeavors back in France!

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



September 24, 2015: Animal movement analyzed, with unlikely help from an octopus

A linguist and marine biologist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences began an unlikely project two years ago to compare the movement of the human tongue with the manipulation of the arms of the octopus and the undulation of a small worm known as C. elegans.

To access the full article:

September 24, 2015: Chang Stem Cell Engineering Facility brings gene editing to USC

Once the stuff of science fiction, genetic engineering is now offered on a fee-for-service basis at USC.

To access the full article:

September 1, 2015: Climate change will irreversibly force key ocean bacteria into overdrive

Imagine being in a car with the gas pedal stuck to the floor, heading toward a cliff’s edge. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what climate change will do to the key group of ocean bacteria known as Trichodesmium, scientists have discovered.

To access the full article:

September 25, 2015: UCLA scientists confirm: New technique could make cement manufacturing carbon-neutral

Concrete surrounds us in our cities and stretches across the land in a vast network of highways. It’s so ubiquitous that most of us take it for granted, but many aren’t aware that concrete’s key ingredient, ordinary portland cement, is a major producer of greenhouse gases.

To access the full article:

September 16, 2015: UCLA’s Bird Genoscape Project to aid conservation efforts for North American birds threatened by climate change

UCLA researchers announced today the Bird Genoscape Project, which will create the first maps identifying the population-specific migration paths of several bird species and their sub-groups to determine where conservation is needed most to combat the effects of climate change.

To access the full article:

September 23, 2015: Chemists Devise a New, Versatile Way to Tag RNA

Chemists have devised a versatile way to attach handles and tags to RNA so that the tiny molecules can be detected and traced within cells or selectively pulled from a complex mixture of molecules.

To access the full article:

September 22, 2015: Tiny Carbon-capturing Motors May Help Tackle Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels

Machines that are much smaller than the width of a human hair could one day help clean up carbon dioxide pollution in the oceans. Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have designed enzyme-functionalized micromotors that rapidly zoom around in water, remove carbon dioxide and convert it into a usable solid form.

To access the full article:

September 11, 2015: An Antibody That Can Attack HIV in New Ways

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems can naturally control the infection. These antibodies may protect a patient’s healthy cells by recognizing a protein called the envelope spike, present on the surface of all HIV strains and inhibiting, or neutralizing, the effects of the virus. Now Caltech researchers have discovered that one particular bNAb may be able to recognize this signature protein, even as it takes on different conformations during infection—making it easier to detect and neutralize the viruses in an infected patient.

To access the full article:

September 11, 2015: Bar-Coding Technique Opens Up Studies Within Single Cells

All of the cells in a particular tissue sample are not necessarily the same—they can vary widely in terms of genetic content, composition, and function. Yet many studies and analytical techniques aimed at understanding how biological systems work at the cellular level treat all of the cells in a tissue sample as identical, averaging measurements over the entire cellular population. It is easy to see why this happens. With the cell’s complex matrix of organelles, signaling chemicals, and genetic material—not to mention its miniscule scale—zooming in to differentiate what is happening within each individual cell is no trivial task.

To access the full article:

September 17, 2015: Flowing Electrons Help Ocean Microbes Gulp Methane

Good communication is crucial to any relationship, especially when partners are separated by distance. This also holds true for microbes in the deep sea that need to work together to consume large amounts of methane released from vents on the ocean floor. Recent work at Caltech has shown that these microbial partners can still accomplish this task, even when not in direct contact with one another, by using electrons to share energy over long distances.

To access the full article:

September 21, 2015: Predicting Neural Toxicity

Stem cells have a multitude of uses, not the least of which is to create tissue models that reflect human physiology. Such stem cell-derived models have enormous potential in research and application.

To access the full article:

September 22, 2015: UCI researchers find biomarker for autism that may aid diagnostics

By identifying a key signaling defect within a specific membrane structure in all cells, University of California, Irvine researchers believe, they have found both a possible reliable biomarker for diagnosing certain forms of autism and a potential therapeutic target.

To access the full article:

September 24, 2015: UCI brain-computer interface enables paralyzed man to walk

Novel brain-computer interface technology created by University of California, Irvine researchers has allowed a paraplegic man to walk for a short distance.

To access the full article:

September 14, 2015: Research Shows Evolution in Real Time

In ongoing research to record the interaction of environment and evolution, a team led by University of California, Riverside biologist David Reznick has found new information illustrating the evolution of a population of guppies.

To access the full article:


September 15, 2015: Scan may identify best candidates for fetal spina bifida surgery

Fetuses with enlarged ventricles — the fluid-filled cavities inside the brain — may be less likely than their counterparts to benefit from surgery in the womb to treat spina bifida, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

To access the full article:

September 23, 2015: NIH researchers find role for soft palate in adaptation of transmissible influenza viruses

National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues identified a previously unappreciated role for the soft palate during research to better understand how influenza (flu) viruses acquire the ability to move efficiently between people. In studies using ferrets, the team collected evidence that this patch of mucous-coated soft tissue separating the mouth from the nasal cavity is a key site for the emergence of flu viruses with a heightened ability to spread through the air. The finding could aid efforts to define the properties governing flu virus transmissibility and predict which viruses are most likely to spark pandemics.

To access the full article:

September 21, 2015: HHS advances development of new monoclonal antibody drug for Ebola

A novel Ebola virus disease treatment based on three monoclonal antibodies will advance in development through an agreement between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Tarrytown, New York.

To access the full article:


September 21 2015: Antimicrobial Film for Future Implants

Implantable medical devices (prosthesis/pacemakers) are an ideal interface for micro-organisms, which can easily colonize their surface. As such, bacterial infection may occur and lead to an inflammatory reaction. This may cause the implant to be rejected. These infections are mainly caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, originating in the body, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These infections may also be fungal or caused by yeasts. The challenge presented by implanting medical devices in the body is preventing the occurrence of these infections, which lead to an immune response that compromises the success of the implant. Antibiotics are currently used during surgery or to coat certain implants. However, the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria now restricts their effectiveness.

To access the full article:

September 14 2015: Modulation of brain cholesterol: a new line of research in Alzheimer’s disease treatment?

Excess brain cholesterol cannot freely cross the blood-brain barrier; to be eliminated it must be converted into 24-hydroxycholesterol (24-OHC) by the enzyme CYP46A1 (cholesterol-24-hydroxylase). At Inserm Unit 1169, Nathalie, Cartier, coordinator of this work, and Patrick Aubourg, director of the unit, proposed the hypothesis that increasing the efflux of cholesterol from the brain by overexpressing CYP46A1 might have a beneficial effect on the elements of Alzheimer pathology.

To access the full article:

September 17, 2015: First-ever in vitro human spermatogenesis

Several teams throughout the world have been trying for more than fifteen years to achieve in vitro human spermatogenesis, a complex physiological process that lasts 72 days (vs 34 in the mouse). This challenge was taken up by Kallistem’s Scientific Director and former INRA senior researcher Philippe Durand, jointly with CNRS senior researcher2 and company co-founder Marie-Hélène Perrard. The two scientists, who specialize in in vitro spermatogenesis, already knew, by using testicular tissue, how to isolate seminiferous tubules (where spermatozoa are produced), without damaging them. However, confinement of these seminiferous tubules was not sufficiently efficient and stable to allow them to function in vitro throughout the duration of spermatogenesis. A collaboration with Laurent David, Professor at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 and a member of the Laboratoire Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon1/Insa/UJM), enabled the scientists to develop a containment fluid for seminiferous tubules very similar to in vivo conditions, making integral spermatogenesis possible. To achieve this, the team designed a bioreactor using chitosan, a natural substance present in the cell wall of fungi or produced from chitin, a component in crustacean shells. At the end of 2014, the scientists thus succeeded for the first, time in producing human spermatozoa in vitro. A patent describing the entire system, called "Artistem", was published on 25 June 2015.

To access the full article:

September 22, 2015: Decision-making involves a little known brain region

All living organisms must take appropriate decisions to meet their own needs. In particular, the ability to take account of abrupt environmental changes represents a significant challenge for the survival of a species. Such decision-making is considered as an evolved cognitive function. It involves the orbitofrontal cortex, one of the most developed brain structures, known to perform decision-making processes.

To access the full article:




Lecture on Stem Cells
October 06, 2015 – 11:00 am
Location: Health Sciences Campus, Broad CIRM Center (BCC), 1st Floor Conference Room
Featured Speaker: Peter Kuhn, USC
More Information: https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/916775

Neuronal Death in Alzheimer’s Disease
October 15, 2015 – 12:00 pm
Location: University Park Campus, Davis School of Gerontology, GER 224
Featured Speaker: Takako Niikura, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Science and Technology, Sophia University, Japan
More Information: https://www.usc.edu/calendar/event/917205


The Luskin Neuroscience & Society Conference
October 9, 2015 – 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Location: Anderson Complex - Korn Convocation Hall - Rm. C314
More Information: http://happenings.ucla.edu/lectures/event/174796

Preparing Learners to Contribute to the Clinical Workplace
October 23, 2015 – 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Carnesale Commons - Palisades
Featured Speaker: Dr. Olle ten Cate, University of California San Francisco.
More Information: http://happenings.ucla.edu/lectures/event/165061


Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa
October 7, 2015 to October 9, 2015 – 8:00 am - 6:30 pm
Location: Estancia La Jolla/ Salk Institute for Biological Studies
More Information: https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=178944&iSubCatID=&iRoomID=

Unique Features of Human Skin
October 16, 2015 – 1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium, Salk Intstitute
More Information: https://calendar.ucsd.edu/DisplayEventDetail.asp?iEventID=158920&iSubCatID=2&iRoomID=


Exhibition: "Qian Xue-sen: A Man of Science and an Inspiration to Scholars"
October 3, 2015 to October 9, 2015 – 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Location: Dabney Hall, Lounge
More Information: http://www.caltech.edu/content/exhibition-qian-xue-sen-man-science-and-inspiration-scholars

Paul Weissman - Back to the Beginning: The Rosetta Comet Rendezvous Mission
October 14, 2015 – 8:00 pm
Location: Beckman Auditorium
Featured Speaker: Paul Weissman
More Information: http://www.caltech.edu/content/paul-weissman-back-beginning-rosetta-comet-rendezvous-mission


International Year of Light
October 8, 2015 – 1:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Location: Corwin Pavilion
Featured Speaker: Steve Chu
More Information: https://events.ucsb.edu/event/international-year-of-light/

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

Altered programming of skeletal muscle-resident stem cells causes regenerative failure and heterotopic ossification
October 28, 2015 – 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Auditorium of Building 12 at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
Featured Speaker: Dr. David Goldhammer, University of Connecticut

Researchers: Women Scientists of TSRI
October 21, 2015 – 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: The Auditorium at TSRI
Featured Speaker: Linda Sherman, TSRI
More Information: http://www.scripps.edu/california/philanthropy/events.html

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

Rusty Gage 65th Birthday Symposium
October 15, 2015
Location: Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium

The University of Arizona

Lecture - ’Context-Dependent Effects of TGFbeta on Brain Inflammation’
October 5, 2015 – 11:00am
Location: Thomas W. Keating Bioresearch Building, Room 103, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Featured Speaker: Marion Buckwalter
More Information: http://uanews.org/calendar/60694-lecture-contextdependent-effects-tgfbeta-brain-inflammation

Lecture - ’Prion Biology at the Interesection of Protein Misfolding and Cellular Proteostasis’
October 8, 2015 – 4:00pm
Location: Koffler Building, Room 218, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Featured Speaker: Tricia Serio, The University of Arizona
More Information: http://uanews.org/calendar/60779-lecture-prion-biology-interesection-protein-misfolding-and-cellular-proteostasis

The University of New Mexico

Water & Energy in NM public lecture series
Every Wednesday – 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Location: UNM main campus, Pearl Hall, room P133
More Information: http://unmevents.unm.edu/EventList.aspx?fromdate=10/1/2015&todate=10/31/2015&display=Month&type=public&eventidn=7063&view=EventDetails&information_id=12092


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.

We value your feedback. Please send us your comments and suggestions at

Please also subscribe to the following 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