Following the Rare Disease Day, we would like to highlight the next international workshop of BRAINS FOR BRAIN (B4B) Foundation, which will take place in Frankfurt (Germany) between the 8th and the 10th of March. B4B aims at improving the understanding and treatment of rare genetic diseases affecting the young brain, with a focus on Lysosomal Storage Disorders, thanks to the commitment of basic scientists, clinicians and patient associations.

The programme has been released (more information on B4B website), many topics will be addressed: the most recent research achievements in the field, the way(s) to improve the delivery of medicines into the brain and the role of the industries in driving innovation to find new therapies, among other issues.

We are looking forward to attending this promising workshop! You plan to be at this event? Why not schecule a meeting? Contact us!

The 20th congress of the Society for the study of blood-brain interfaces (SEISC) took place in Tours last week, on the topic “The Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) in all its forms” ( During two days, breakthroughs concerning several aspects of blood-brain interfaces were exposed through 11 presentations, dealing with the importance of the BBB in neurodegenerative diseases and in brain cancer, as well as the problematic of drug transport across the BBB.

The links between the BBB and neurodegenerative diseases were addressed in several presentations, for example the effect of ketones on the BBB, the cellular cholesterol homeostasis and β-amyloid peptide efflux at the level of the BBB in the frame of Alzheimer’s disease. BBB issues in cancerology were addressed in the context of high-grade glioma, with the modelization of the blood-tumor barrier using a human synergic approach. Moreover, modern methods for drug delivery across the BBB were presented. Some laboratories also presented posters to show their results, in particular dealing with the prediction of the brain penetration of compounds using human models.
HCS Pharma participated in this congress in the context of the future development of a new combined in vitro BBB model in our laboratory.

Thanks to the organizers and all participants for the interesting discussions we had there!

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In Nature Methods from July, Xi Long and colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medicale Institute Janelia Research Campus (Ashburn, Virginia, USA) have developed a RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to study brain development and function, which require the expression of select genes at specific times in appropriate neurons.

We describe a fluorescence in situ hybridization method that permits detection of the localization and abundance of single mRNAs (smFISH) in cleared whole-mount adult Drosophila brains. The approach is rapid and multiplexable and does not require molecular amplification; it allows facile quantification of mRNA expression with subcellular resolution on a standard confocal microscope. We further demonstrate single-mRNA detection across the entire brain using a custom Bessel beam structured illumination microscope (BB-SIM).

Source :

Zebrafish brain firing

Ever wanted to see the activity of the neurons from a almost entire brain ? 10 days ago, Vladimirov et al. described how they have used light-sheet microscopy to record the activity of nearly every neuron in the larval zebrafish brain as the animal responded to sensory stimuli.

You can see it by looking at this wonderfull video.

Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy allow to illuminate a thin slice of the sample, perpendicularly to the direction of the observation.

From Vladimirov, N. et al. Light-sheet functional imaging in behaving zebrafish. Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.3040 (27 July 2014)