Scientific Letter - May 2013

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

Scientific letter - Bonjour Southeast

May 2013

Southeast France Events To Know Picture


-- width='35' height='25' />Edito


Dear friends,
This month newsletter will be my last one at the General French Consulate in Atlanta. It has been a pleasure to keep you updated with the last result and news in Science.

Have a good reading,

Juliane Halftermeyer, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences


-- width='35' height='25' />Sciences in the Southeast USA


Scientific news from the Southeast USA

- Fingers and toes : joint forming factor, Vanderbilt University (TN), 01/04/2013. GIF
In the developing limb, the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling protein works through the Gli family of transcription factors to control tissue growth and patterning. To discover downstream targets of Shh/Gli signaling, Chin Chiang, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, and colleagues analyzed the collection of genes that are “turned on” in the early limb bud.
>> Learn more

- Early study : feeling hungry may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease, University of Alabama - Birminghm (AL), 04/02/2013. GIF
The feeling of hunger itself may protect against Alzheimer’s disease, according to study published today. Interestingly, the results of this study in mice suggest that mild hunger pangs, and related hormonal pathways, may be as important to the much-discussed value of “caloric restriction” as actually eating less.
>> Learn more

- UGA researchers develop universal flu vaccine, University of Georgia (GA), 04/02/2013. GIF
Flu is unpredictable. Influenza viruses are constantly changing—from one season to the next or even within the course of a flu season—making vaccine development difficult.
Annual flu vaccines are designed to build immunity to the three most common strains of the virus predicted to be circulating that year. New research suggests an improvement to the current model.
>> Learn more

- Researchers Find Potential Map to More Effective HIV Vaccine , Duke University (NC), 04/03/2013. GIF
y tracking the very earliest days of one person’s robust immune response to HIV, researchers have charted a new route for developing a long-sought vaccine that could boost the body’s ability to neutralize the virus.
>> Learn more

- Adhesive Differences Enable Separation of Stem Cells to Advance Potential Therapies, Georgia Institute of Technology (GA), 04/07/2013. GIF
A new separation process that depends on an easily-distinguished physical difference in adhesive forces among cells could help expand production of stem cells generated through cell reprogramming. By facilitating new research, the separation process could also lead to improvements in the reprogramming technique itself and help scientists model certain disease processes.
>> Learn more

- UF researchers show brain’s battle for attention , University of Florida (FL), 04/10/2013. GIF
We’ve all been there : You’re at work deeply immersed in a project when suddenly you start thinking about your weekend plans. It happens because behind the scenes, parts of your brain are battling for control. Now, researchers are using a new technique that allows them to examine how parts of the brain battle for dominance when a person tries to concentrate on a task. Addressing these fluctuations in attention may help scientists better understand many neurological disorders such as autism, depression and mild cognitive impairment.
>> Learn more

- Study shows fish oil can boost immune system, East Carolina University (NC), 04/10/2013. GIF
Fish oil, a common dietary supplement touted for lowering triglycerides and suppressing inflammation, might also help boost the immune system. New research suggests that instead of suppressing the body’s immune response, fish oil actually improves the function of B cells, a type of white blood cell vital to the immune system.
>> Learn more

- Gene sequencing project finds new mutations to blame for a majority of brain tumor subtype, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (TN), 04/14/2013. GIF
The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified mutations responsible for more than half of a subtype of childhood brain tumor that takes a high toll on patients. Researchers also found evidence the tumors are susceptible to drugs already in development.
>> Learn more

- New study offers insight on pandemic flu, Mississippi State University (MI), 04/23/2013. GIF
Pandemic flu continues to threaten public health, especially in the wake of the recent emergence of an H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza strain in humans. A recent study provides new information for public health officials on mitigating the spread of infection from emerging flu viruses.
>> Learn more

- Researchers Identify New Gene Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease in African Americans, University of Miami (FL), 04/24/2013. GIF
Researchers collaborated to identify a new gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans. Their study, “Variants in the ATP-binding cassette transporter, ABCA7, and the apolipoprotein E ?4 allele substantially and equally influence risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease in African Americans,” provides new directions for biological, genetic and therapeutic studies of Alzheimer’s disease.
>> Learn more


-- width='35' height='25' />Sciences in France


Scientific news from France

- The surprising ability of blood stem cells to respond to emergencies, also available in French, Inserm, CNRS, 04/11/2013. GIF GIF
A research team revealed an unexpected role for hematopoietic stem cells : they do not merely ensure the continuous renewal of our blood cells ; in emergencies they are capable of producing white blood cells “on demand” that help the body deal with inflammation or infection. This property could be used to protect against infections in patients undergoing bone marrow transplants, while their immune system reconstitutes itself.
>> Learn more

- Atomic-level characterization of the effects of alcohol on a major player of the central nervous system also available in French, Institut Pasteur, CNRS, University of Texas, 04/16/2013. GIF GIF
Scientists have been able to observe at atomic-level the effects of ethanol (the alcohol present in alcoholic beverages) on central nervous system receptors. They have identified five ethanol binding sites in a mutant of a bacterial analog of nicotinic receptors, and have determined how the binding of ethanol stimulates receptor activity.
>> Learn more

- Discovery of a crucial factor in the adaptation of plants to nitrogen availability, also available in French, INRA, ENS Paris, 04/16/2013. GIF GIF
Nitrogen is an essential element in plant growth, but its availability in the soil – in a nitrate form – may vary, which brings into play specific regulatory mechanisms in the plant designed to coordinate its transport and assimilation. Scientists have demonstrated the crucial role of a transcription factor, NLP7, in the early response of plants to nitrate via a nuclear retention mechanism.
>> Learn more

- The sequencing of the genome of the African coelacanth illuminates the evolution of tetrapods and vertebrates, (only in French), ENS Lyon, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 04/17/2013. GIF
The genome of the African coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish phylogenetically close to terrestrial mammals and considered a true "living fossil", has been sequenced by an international team. The African Coelacanth which has changed little morphologically during last 300 million years might look like one of the last group of aquatic ancestors of tetrapods (vertebrates with two pairs of limbs and pulmonary respiration, including amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals, including humans). The sequence of its genome will provide new informations on the evolution of tetrapods and the evolutionary transition from aquatic environments and colonization of land by vertebrates.
>> Learn more (only in French)

- Legionellosis : unique host cell reprogramming induced by the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila, also available in French, Institut Pasteur, CNRS, Institut Curie, Inserm, 04/17/2013. GIF GIF
Scientists have identified a unique mechanism that enables the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila (the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease or legionellosis) to "reprogram" the gene expression of the eukaryotic cells that it infects. This mechanism, which has never been observed before, facilitates the survival and proliferation of Legionella pneumophila during infection. The work provides precious information on the regulation of the host’s gene expression, as well as important insight into the tactics used by bacteria to manipulate host cells.
>> Learn more

- Are babies endowed with consciousness ?, also available in French), CNRS, ENS Paris, EHESS, Inserm, CEA, 04/18/2013. GIF GIF
Babies have long been considered as beings with limited skills and behaviors that are principally automatic and of a reflex type, and are not accompanied by a subjective conscious experience. Nevertheless, have now shown that as from an age of 5 months, infants are endowed with form of consciousness similar to that seen in adults.
>> Learn more

- Pollution plumes in Paris air are richer in gaseous aromatic compounds than in Los Angeles, also available in French, CNRS, UPEC, Université Paris Diderot, CEA, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 04/18/2013. GIF GIF
What is the origin of the volatile hydrocarbons, other than methane, present in city air ? Mainly gasoline-powered vehicles, according to a study carried out by a French-US team including French researchers. The study also shows that the proportion of gaseous aromatic compounds in hydrocarbon emissions is two to three times greater in pollution plumes in Paris than in Los Angeles, even though the total quantity of hydrocarbons emitted in Los Angeles remains considerably greater than in Paris.
>> Learn more


-- width='35' height='25' />Events



Consulate General of France (Atlanta)
- May, 7, 5:30pm
‘Aquifers - and Scientists - Without Borders’
Emory University (Atlanta)
- May, 13, 1:00 to 2:00pm
‘Chemical Biology and the Leading Edge of Drug Discovery’
- May, 22, 4:00 to 5:00pm
‘Telomeres Dynamics and Genome Instability in Driving Cancer Cell Vulnerabilities’
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
- May, 7, 8:00am to 5:00pm
‘Georgia Tech Research Institute to Host International Internet-of-Things Standards Conference’
- May, 7, 11:00am to 1:00pm
‘Mini Innovation Hubs Project : Learning from MOOCs Showcase’


University of Miami (Miami)
- May, 8
‘Dust, Clouds and Climate : What we can’t see can hurt us’

North Carolina

Duke University (Duke)
- May, 3, 10:00am to 11:00am
‘Structure and Symptom-Modifying Therapies for Discogenic Back Pain’
- May, 17, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
‘Move Over Cyclins, Myc Gets the Job Done’
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill)
- May, 2, 7:00 to 9:00pm
‘What’s the Big Idea ? Brain Development - Infancy & Childhood’
Appalachian State University (Boone)
- May, 2, 7:00 pm
‘Why evolution is true and why Americans deny it ?’


The University of Tennessee – Health Science Center (Memphis)
- May, 3, 8:30am to 12:30pm
‘2013 Oral Health Conference ’Understanding Interprofessional Education in the Context of Oral Health’’
The University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
- May, 7, 7:30am to 5:00 pm
‘Fifth Annual Stroke Symposium : Managing the Complex Stroke Patient’
- May, 20, 8:00am to 12:00 pm
‘Comparative & Experimental Medicine and Public Health Research Symposium’
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- May 21-23
Annual Biomedical Science and Engineering Center
Vanderbilt University (Nashville)
- May, 6, 5:30 to 7:00pm
‘Dinner and Data : Obesity Research Highlights’
- May, 15, 8:30am to 2:00pm
‘Advances and New Frontiers in Sports Concussion Care’


University of Alabama (Birmingham)
- May, 22, 12:00 to 1:00pm
‘High-resolution in vivo imaging of the lamina cribrosa in normal and glaucomatous eyes’


-- width='35' height='25' />Good to Know


Full-time or Part-time Professor in Molecular chemistry at the Ecole Polytechnique

The Chemistry Department at the Ecole Polytechnique wishes to recruit a candidate at Full Professor level on a full or part time basis. The candidate should be an internationally recognized expert within their field who is willing to transfer and establish a significant research activity to one of the molecular chemistry laboratories of the Ecole polytechnique. In this respect, preference will be given to candidates with expertise in biological chemistry, inorganic chemistry or physical chemistry.
The successful candidate will be required to undertake a leadership role within the Chemistry Department, and in addition to his/her own research, will be responsible for the organization and delivery of lectures to students in all years at the Ecole Polytechnique (advanced undergraduate and graduate level). Significant prior teaching experience will be an advantage since the Ecole Polytechnique wishes to extend the teaching of Chemistry to a larger body of students and to reinforce the links between the teaching department and the research laboratories.

Application deadline : June 30, 2013 midnight Paris time (GMT+1)
>>For more information

Marie-Curie Fellowships : Call for proposals opened until August 14, 2013

The 2013 call for proposals for Marie-Curie Fellowships (FP7- People) has been launched. These individual fellowships offer researchers of any nationality the opportunity to move abroad, within Europe and worldwide. Only experienced researchers (post-doc and beyond) are eligible, for periods of one or two years.
- International Outgoing Fellowships (IOF) will finance advanced training in high-level organizations located in non-European countries, thereby strengthening the international dimension of the European researcher’s career.
- International Incoming Fellowships (IIF) will finance research projects aimed at transferring knowledge to the host organization, and to establish or improve collaboration between Europe and the rest of the world.
- Intra-European Fellowships (IEF) will finance advanced training and career development, which may include the acquisition of new and/or complementary skills, as well as transnational mobility.

Applications are due before August 14, 2013 at 11:00am EST

>>For more information, and to apply, visit :, also available in French GIF GIF

Edited by Juliane Halftermeyer, Deputy Scientific Attaché in Life Sciences, designed by Clémentine Bernon
(c) Consulate General of France in Atlanta
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Dernière modification : 03/05/2013

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