Society for Neuroscience Meeting

I am in Washington DC at the Society for Neuroscience 2014 meeting. There is some incredible science here. Let me just share a few of the things I saw today:

The Thompson laboratory from UC Irvine (my alma mater – go anteaters!) made a model system for the blood-brain barrier from induced pluripotent stem cells. These scientists made iPSCs that had similar genetic defects to those observed in patients with Huntington’s disease. These iPSCs were then differentiated into blood-brain barrier cells and showed that these cells showed defects similar to those seen in patients with Huntington’s disease. The barrier leaked, which makes this a good model to study blood brain barrier defects in patients with neurological diseases.

Another poster described the use of vesicles from human fat-based stem cells to treat laboratory animals with a type of Huntington’s disease. These vesicles attenuated Huntington’s disease pathology and delayed its onset.

There were several other brilliant posters, and tomorrow, there will be even more. I will blog about those as time permits.


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Professor of Biochemistry at Spring Arbor University (SAU) in Spring Arbor, MI. Have been at SAU since 1999. Author of The Stem Cell Epistles. Before that I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA (1997-1999), and Sussex University, Falmer, UK (1994-1997). I studied Cell and Developmental Biology at UC Irvine (PhD 1994), and Microbiology at UC Davis (MA 1986, BS 1984).