Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #43 - October 2013




The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France is offering an invitation to US post-graduate students to attend a two-day scientific seminar in Toulouse, France. To encourage this unique opportunity, the OST will offer partial scholarships to eight students in the United States. More information about this event and the official link can be found toward the end of this newsletter.

Those interested in the field of epigenetics will be excited to know that the French INSERM and UC Irvine are organizing another great opportunity for international collaboration in Irvine at the Second International Symposium on Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity in December. This two-day event, sponsored by the Office for Science and Technology of the Consulate General of France in Los Angeles, will welcome more than 200 participants from around the world to focus on how epigenetic control and chromatin remodeling contribute to various processes that lead to cellular plasticity. The official website and further information about the event and the application process can be found on the official OST website in the events section.

For more information on these events, please go to http://www.france-science.org/US-French-Post-Graduate-Seminar-on.html and http://france-science.org/UCI-INSERM-International-Symposium.html.

Gregory Disse, 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 October 2013 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




September 3, 2013 : Creating a “Window to the Brain”

University of California, Riverside researchers develop novel transparent skull implant that could provide new treatment options for disorders such as brain cancer and traumatic brain injury.

To access the full article :

September 3, 2013 : Biomarkers help USC researchers prevent failure after tissue transplants

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have found a way to identify patients who may be susceptible to certain complications while recovering from large wounds and complicated reconstructive surgeries. The team’s findings were published in August in the Public Library of Science’s online publication PLOS ONE.

To access the full article :

September 6, 2013 : Salk scientists and colleagues discover important mechanism underlying Alzheimer’s disease

Details of destructive neuronal pathway should help improve drug therapies.

To access the full article :

September 11, 2013 : Biologists uncover mechanisms for cholera toxin’s deadly effects

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have identified an underlying biochemical mechanism that helps make cholera toxin so deadly, often resulting in life-threating diarrhea that causes people to lose as much as half of their body fluids in a single day.

To access the full article :

September 11, 2013 : New system uses nanodiamonds to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to brain tumors

UCLA researchers found that by attaching drugs to the tiny particles and injecting them directly into the tumors, the drugs’ efficiency was boosted and damage to surrounding tissue was minimized.

To access the full article :

September 12, 2013 : Protein essential for maintaining beta cell function identified

Researchers at the Pediatric Diabetes Research Center (PDRC) at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown that the pancreatic protein Nkx6.1 – a beta-cell enriched transcription factor – is essential to maintaining the functional state of beta cells.

To access the full article :

September 13, 2013 : Insulin plays a role in mediating worms’ perceptions and behaviors

Using salt-sniffing roundworms, Salk scientists help explain how the nervous system processes sensory information

To access the full article :
September 16, 2013 : Scripps Research Institute scientists create extremely potent and improved new derivatives of successful anticancer drug

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found a way to make dramatic improvements to the cancer cell-killing power of vinblastine, one of the most successful chemotherapy drugs of the past few decades.

To access the full article :

September 18, 2013 : UCLA doctors successfully “vacuum” 2-foot blood clot out of patient’s heart

When Terry Dunlap arrived at the ER with a massive clot, doctors gave him two choices : open-heart surgery or a new minimally invasive procedure. But there was a catch.

To access the full article :

September 18, 2013 : Motor control development may extend into late adolescence, study finds

The development of fine motor control – the ability to use your fingertips to manipulate objects – takes longer than previously believed and isn’t entirely the result of brain development, according to a pair of complementary studies by USC researchers.

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September 20, 2013 : Scripps Research Institute study explores barriers to HIV Vaccine Response

Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) discovered that an antibody that binds and neutralizes HIV likely also targets the body’s own “self” proteins.

To access the full article :

September 23, 2013 : Data from across globe defines distinct Kawasaki Disease Season

After more than four decades of research, strong evidence now shows that Kawasaki disease has a distinct seasonal occurrence shared by regions across the Northern hemisphere.

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September 23, 2013 : New gut bacterium discovered in termite’s digestion of wood

When termites much on wood, the small bits are delivered to feed a community of unique microbes living in their guts, and in a complex process involving multiple steps, these microbes turn the hard, fibrous material into a nutritious meal for the termite host.

To access the full article :

September 23, 2013 : USC scientists ID protein with potential for anti-cancer therapy

Molecular microbiologists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have uncovered intricate regulatory mechanisms within the cell that could lead to novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Their findings, which have long-standing significance in the basic understanding of cell biology, appear in the journal Nature Cell Biology.

To access the full article :

September 24, 2013 : Early imaging, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s leads to changes in patient care, better outcomes

In a clinical trial, patients whose doctors were given access to early brain scans showed better executive function, memory and overall cognitive ability over a two-year period.

To access the full article :


September 3, 2013 : Risk factors identified at diagnosis help predict outcomes for children with rare heart condition

A long-term study of children with a complex heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) found that the risk of death or need for immediate listing for heart transplantation was greatest for those who developed this disease as infants with congestive heart failure and for children who also had selective inborn errors of metabolism, a group of rare genetic disorders in which one or more of the body’s key metabolic processes are disrupted.

To access the full article :

September 9, 2013 : Closing in on risk factors for cerebral palsy and infant death

Scientists from NIH and Australia investigate risk factors that contribute to cerebral palsy and early infant death

To access the full article :

September 13, 2013 : New medical device treats urinary symptoms related to enlarged prostate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today authorized the marketing of the UroLift system, the first permanent implant to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 and older with an enlarged prostate.

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September 23, 2013 : FDA approval expands access to artificial heart valve for inoperable patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved revised labeling for the SapienTranscatheter Heart Valve (THV), making the device available to an expanded group of patients who have inoperable aortic valve stenosis, a disease of the heart valves that causes narrowing of the aortic valve, restricting blood flow from the heart.

To access the full article :

September 25, 2013 : HHS pursues nerve agent anti-seizure drug for children and adults

New treatment for nerve agent seizures could be first approved in easy-t-use pediatric autoinjector.

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September 26, 2013 : Gene variants found associated with human immune system, autoimmune disease

NIH researchers work with international colleagues to identify genes.

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September 1, 2013 : Polar ice sheet formation : paradox solved

The beginning of the last glacial period was characterized in the Northern hemisphere by significant accumulation of snow at high latitudes and the formation of a huge polar ice sheet. For climatologists this was paradoxical, since snowfall is always associated with high humidity and relatively moderate temperatures. Now, a French team coordinated by María-Fernanda Sánchez-Goñi, a researcher at EPHE1 working in the ’Oceanic and Continental Environments and Paleoenvironments’ Laboratory (CNRS/Universités Bordeaux 1 &4)2 has solved this paradox. By analyzing sediment cores dating back 80,000 to 70,000 years, the researchers have shown that during that period, water temperatures in the Bay of Biscay remained relatively high, whereas those in mainland Europe gradually fell. Carried northwards by wind, the humidity released by this thermal contrast appears to have caused the snowfall that formed the polar ice sheet. This work was published on the Nature Geoscience website on 1 September 2013.

To access the full article :

September 13, 2013 : Smallest plankton grow fastest with rising CO2

Could the future of the ocean depend on its smallest organisms ? An experiment conducted as part of the European project EPOCA, coordinated by Jean-Pierre Gattuso of the Laboratoired’Océanographie de Villefranche (CNRS/UPMC), has shown that pico- and nanoplankton benefit from increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the seawater, causing a disruption in the food chain. Two climate regulation processes are also affected : carbon export to the deep ocean and production of dimethyl sulfide, a gas that counteracts the greehouse effect. The study was conducted in the Arctic by a team of researchers, mainly from GEOMAR, CNRS and UPMC1, supported by the InstitutPolaireFrançais. These results have been published in a special issue of Biogeosciences.

To access the full article :

September 18, 2013 : Dwarfism : a new development to restore bone growth

Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism, affecting roughly one child in every 15,000 births. Insermresearcher ElvireGouze, and her associates from the Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine in Nice (Inserm Unit 106), have succeeded in restoring bone growth in mice suffering from this developmental pathology. The proof-of-concept created by the researchers is for a therapy based on injecting a particularly promising human growth factor, which restores the growth process in long bones. Its results include a reduced mortality rate in the treated mice, with no complications associated with the disease. No apparent toxicity was observed over the short term.

To access the full article :

September 27, 2013 : New strategy in the fight against TB ?

A new approach to combating the tubercle bacillus, the microorganism that kills some 1.5 million people in the world each year, has been developed by a French-British team including scientists from CNRS, Inserm, the Institut Curie and Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier. The researchers have discovered that an amino acid, aspartate, is essential for the development of the bacillus because it acts as its main source of nitrogen. They have also succeeded in establishing the mechanism by which the bacterium extracts aspartate from its host. These results, published online on 29 September 2013 in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, could make it possible to develop new antibiotics and new vaccines derived from attenuated strains of the bacillus, incapable of supplying themselves with aspartate.

To access the full article :





Jacobs Symposium : Unraveling Biological Complexity
October 14, 8:45am
Frederic de Hoffmann Auditorium, Salk Institute


2nd Annual Marian D. Sigman Memorial Lecture
Autism Genetics : Reaching for Coherence
October 11, 9:00am
Semel Auditorium, Room C8-183
Featured Speaker : Dan Geschwind, MD, PhD

UC Irvine

Benevolent Viruses Working to Detect Cancer
October 8, 7:30pm
UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom
Featured Speakers : Professors RegPenner and Greg Weiss, UCI Department of Chemistry

US-French Post-Graduate Seminar on Nanocharacterization : Chemical Analysis in Toulouse, France – March 2014

The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States is organizing a seminar for PhD students on chemical analysis at the nanoscale. The two-day seminar will take place at Cemes in Toulouse, France. The seminar will give PhD students the opportunity to present their work to their peers and discuss their results freely. The seminar will include four lectures by nanoscale chemical analysis experts and will be followed by visits to three French nanocharacterization laboratories.

Dates :

Application Deadline : November 1, 2013
Scholarship Application Deadline : November 1, 2013

Further information about the event, application, and funding opportunities for Students enrolled in a US University can be found at the event website : [http://www.france-science.org/US-French-Post-Graduate-Seminar-on.html]

Destination Europe Conference in San Francisco – December 12-13, 2013

Save the Date ! Destination Europe events showcase the vibrant and exciting research and innovation culture in Europe and the opportunities available to researchers from anywhere in the world interested in working there or cooperating with European researchers.

There will be no charge for participation, but prior registration is obligatory. Come to Destination Europe to meet :
-  Experts from European research organizations, universities, funding agencies and European Commission services who will present programs, initiatives and opportunities to cooperate or to pursue a career in Research and Innovation in Europe.
-  Researchers who have moved to Europe temporarily or permanently and who will share their experience with you.
-  Information about the help available for the practicalities of moving to Europe

Further information and online registration details will soon be available at : [http://ec.europa.eu/research/destination-europe]


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 veillescientifiquemenées par les Missions Scientifiques et Technologiquesdans 40 zones géographiquessontaccessiblesgratuitement via les Bulletins Electroniques. Ilssontédités par l’Agence pour la Diffusion de l’InformationTechnologique (ADIT), surune base mensuelleouhebdomadaire.

Le Fil de Marianne
Le Fil de Marianne estune publication hebdomadaire des bureaux de l’INSERM et du CNRS aux Etats-Unis. Il offreune information détailléesur les évolutions de la politique de recherchefrançaise, les appelsd’offreset les manifestations scientifiques en France. L’abonnementestgratuit.

Le Service pour la Science et la Technologie du ConsulatGénéral de France à Los Angeles
Des informationssur le rôle de notre service au sein de la Mission pour la Science et la technologie (MS&T) peuventêtretrouvéessur le site du ConsulatGénéral de France à Los Angeles. Le planning des événements à venirainsiquenoscoordonnées et nos activités, sontégalementdisponibles 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 deputy-sdv.la@ambascience-usa.org.

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Dernière modification : 08/01/2014

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