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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

Perbal B.,International CCN Society
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2012

A critical look at a recently published manuscript reporting the role of CCN3 in the regulation of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) biology raises several scientific concerns, and reveals flaws in the reviewing process which appear to have resulted in the dissemination of conclusions that are not supported by proper experimental procedures. In the example presented here, the observed biological effects are attributed to a high molecular weight "CCN3" protein which is detected by a single commercial antibody that was not shown in the experimental conditions used by the authors to be a valid reagent capable of stringently detecting the "canonical" CCN3 protein. Experiments establishing that inhibiting the production of high molecular weight "CCN3" protein would reverse these biological effects were not performed. The case discussed here clearly demonstrates that unreliable data can go through peer reviewing and be published. As the data can end up being cited and used as a potential reference by new investigators in the field, we believe that such data can throw roadblocks across the scientific path of inquiry and mislead investigations. We therefore raise awareness for the need of a more stringent peer reviewing process in which assurance can be had that the strength and precision of the data have been thoroughly checked by experts in the CCN field, and previous work properly referenced. © The International CCN Society 2012. Source


Perbal B.,International CCN Society
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2015

Previous studies have indicated that the expression of CCN3, a member of the CCN family of proteins, was tightly regulated during central nervous development and was associated with acquisition of cognitive functions in rats (Perbal, Mol Pathol 54(2):57–79, 2001; Su et al. Sheng Li Xue Bao 52(4):290–294, 2000) therefore suggesting that CCN3 might be involved in higher levels of physiological communication in the brain. In spite of the considerable amount of progress made into the understanding of neuronal organization and communication, reducing the knowledge gap between brain cellular biology and behavioral studies remains a huge challenge. Mind-to-mind communication has been the subject of numerous science fiction writings, intense research and emotional debates for many years. Scientists have tried for a long time to achieve transmission of messages between living subjects via non intrusive protocols. Thanks to the great progress made in imagery and neurosciences, another dimension of neuronal function in communication has now been documented. Two recent experimental demonstrations of direct brain to brain communication without physical contact (Grau et al. (2014) Conscious brain-to-brain communication in humans using non-invasive technologies. PLoS One. Aug 19;9(8)- - Rao et al. (2014) A direct brain-to-brain interface in humans. PLoS One. Nov 5;9(11)) pave the road to more sophisticated applications that could profoundly affect communications of humans with other humans, animals and machines. Although the wide use of such applications might seem a long way off, they raise quite a number of ethical, legal and societal issues. © 2015, The International CCN Society. Source


Perbal B.,International CCN Society
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2014

The Nuts and Bolts section of our Journal (mirrored on the ICCNS society web site), is meant to provide a very practical way to share useful information, that goes beyond the scope of cell signaling and basic CCN protein biology. Considering the number of requests we have had for information related to protection of Intellectual Property (IP), I am pleased to initiate what will be a series of articles that will focus on various IP topics. The inaugural topic is the protection of computer programs. Some colleagues may wonder how and why the patentability of computer programs is a topic of interest for scientists working on CCN proteins . . . As a matter of fact, to assist us in analyzing the potential involvement of CCN3 in human genetic diseases, we considered developing a computer program designed to analyze large amounts of data. Sharing the concepts and the computer program raised concerns regarding IP and protection of the software that we would handle. We believe that many colleagues have encountered similar problems. This article provides a short focus on computer program patentability. It is aimed to provide basic legal information, and to help our readers in understanding the process. It is not intended to replace IP counselors or technology transfer departments. Future articles will address other practical aspects of IP protection. © 2014 The International CCN Society. Source


Perbal B.,International CCN Society
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2014

The considerable advances of genome sequencing over the past decades have had a profound impact on our daily life and opened up new avenues for the public to have access to their genetic information and learn more about their ancestry, genealogy and other traits that make each of us unique individuals. A very large number of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been associated to diseases whereas others have no known phenotype. For example, among the SNPs mapped within ccn1(cyr61), ccn2(ctgf), ccn3(nov), ccn4(wisp-1), ccn5(wisp-2) and ccn6 (wisp-3), only mutations within ccn4 were associated to PPD (the autosomal recessive skeletal disorder Progressive Pseudorheumatoid Dysplasia). On the occasion of this JCCS special issue on the roles of hormetic responses in adaptation, and response of living species to the modifications of their environment, it appeared that it was a good time to briefly review a topic that has been the subject of passionate discussions for the past few years, that is Direct to Consumer genetic tests (DTC GT). Based on the use of DNA analysis and identification of polymorphisms, DTC GT have been developed by several companies in the USA and in countries where there was no legal obstacle for customers to have direct access to their genetic information and manage their healthcare. Problems that arose and decisions that have been taken by regulatory agencies are presented and discussed in this editorial. The « freeze » of health-oriented DTC GT in the USA neither implies the end of DNA analysis nor « fun » applications, which are not aimed at providing risks estimates for particular illnesses. As shown in the example which is discussed in this editorial, DTC GT for cosmetic applications might be considered a fun application of great interest for companies such as L’Oréal, who recently developed the Makeup Genius mobile application. Other fun applications of DTC GT are discussed but there is no doubt that nothing will stop progress and it is most probable than within a few years from now all the tensions raised about these procedures will vanish to the profit and benefit of consumers. In any case, this will only be possible through an intensive communication effort, because …communication is the key ! © 2014, The International CCN Society. Source


Perbal B.,International CCN Society
Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2013

In this Editorial, I would like to provide our readers with a brief mid-year update about our activities and efforts to bring together researchers working on intercellular signaling proteins at international meetings. The roots emerged about 20 years ago in the discovery of three genes originally designated cyr61, ctgf, and nov. The proteins encoded by these genes were first proposed to constitute a family of proteins (CCN) which now comprises 6 members (CCN1, CCN2, CCN3, CCN4-6) including the wisp proteins. These proteins were recognized to share a striking structural organization and a high degree of identity although they exhibited quite distinct biological properties. After historical considerations regarding the reasons for using the CCN acronym, and how the ICCNS publishing landscape that drove the ICCNS from Cell Communication and Signaling to the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling, this short update will focus on the 7th edition of the International Workshop on the CCN family of genes to be held in Nice, Oct 16-19, 2013. © 2013 The International CCN Society. Source

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