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CCBAR Newsletter – April, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Natalia Gavrilova participated on behalf of CCBAR in the Network on Biological Risk annual meeting held on April 9-10, 2013 in New Orleans, LA. This meeting was an important event for researchers collecting biomarkers in population-based settings. The first part of the meeting was devoted to the measurement of stress hormones using hair samples (Teresa Seeman), use of point-of-care devices in field studies (Elizabeth Frankenberg and others) and various aspects of dried blood spot collection and analysis (Thom McDade, Alan Potter and Steve Cole).  The second part was devoted to the GWAS methods in social sciences.  Biomarker collection protocols can be found on the Biomarker Network website:

Natalia Gavrilova also participated in the 2013 annual meeting of the Population Association of America in New Orleans, LA where she gave a presentation on the link between early-life and middle-age characteristics and exceptional longevity. This year's meeting featured a broad spectrum of biosocial studies. Several presentations examined the role of lung function in mortality prediction. More information about the meeting program and presentations can be found here:

News from the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ, PNAS, Lancet and JAMA

Animal behaviour: Babies of stressed squirrels grow faster
Social stress alters hormone levels in red-squirrel mothers and leads to faster-growing pups.In a 22-year study, Ben Dantzer, now at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his team found that, in densely populated red-squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus; pictured) communities, females that had faster-gr...
Social isolation, loneliness, and mortality [Medical Sciences]
Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality, but it is uncertain whether their effects are independent or whether loneliness represents the emotional pathway through which social isolation impairs health. We therefore assessed the extent to which the association betw...
When metabolism met immunology
Obesity induces metabolic stress and is associated with inflammation. A cellular pathway now links SIRT2, a deacetylase involved in metabolic processes, to cytoskeleton remodelling and activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Breaking news: thinking may be bad for DNA
A study in this issue suggests that neuronal DNA double-strand breaks can result from natural behaviors. The breaks occur in the circuits that are activated and are enhanced in a model of Alzheimer's disease. The implications of this finding are far-reaching.
Dopamine and the cost of aging
Cognitive function declines as part of the normal aging process. A study finds that the dopamine-boosting drug L-DOPA changes value representation in the brain and improves reinforcement learning in older individuals.
Dopamine restores reward prediction errors in old age
Senescence degrades reward-based decision-making. Here the authors show that there are abnormalities in older adults in a functional magnetic resonance imaging measure of reward prediction error (RPE) signaling and changes in the structural connectivity of areas encoding reward value information. Ad...
How ageing processes influence cancer
The ageing of populations worldwide is leading to an unprecedented increase in cancer cases and fatalities. Understanding the links between cancer and ageing is therefore more important than ever. How the interplay of ageing-associated changes affects cancer initiation and progression is complex, ho...
Role of the gut microbiota in immunity and inflammatory disease
The mammalian intestine is colonized by trillions of microorganisms, most of which are bacteria that have co-evolved with the host in a symbiotic relationship. The collection of microbial populations that reside on and in the host is commonly referred to as the microbiota. A principal
The ageing haematopoietic stem cell compartment
Stem cell ageing underlies the ageing of tissues, especially those with a high cellular turnover. There is growing evidence that the ageing of the immune system is initiated at the very top of the haematopoietic hierarchy and that the ageing of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)
High heart rate is risk factor for death, not just a sign of poor fitness, st...
Danish researchers have said that a high heart rate may be an independent risk factor for mortality, after finding that men with higher rates were more likely to die even if they were physically fit.1The researchers tracked the health of just under 3000 men who were part of the Copenhagen Male Study...
The roles of senescence and telomere shortening in cardiovascular disease
Cellular senescence, defined as arrest during the cell cycle (G0), is involved in the complex process of the biological ageing of tissues, organs, and organisms. Senescence is driven by many factors including oxidative stress, the DNA damage and repair response, inflammation, mitogenic signals,
Risk factors: Short telomeres: association with cancer survival and risk
Short telomere length is associated with cancer risk factors including smoking, adiposity, oxidative stress, ultraviolet irradiation, and low socioeconomic status. This connection between telomere length and cancer has recently been strengthened by meta-analyses that indicated an increased cancer ri...
Breast cancer: Circulating tumour DNA the better of the blood biomarkers
For women with metastatic breast cancer, there is unfortunately no prospect of a cure for their disease. Although a wide range of efficacious treatment options are available that can extend life and improve quality of life, the question of how best to monitor response to
Penis size influences male attractiveness [Evolution]
Compelling evidence from many animal taxa indicates that male genitalia are often under postcopulatory sexual selection for characteristics that increase a male's relative fertilization success. There could, however, also be direct precopulatory female mate choice based on male genital traits. Befor...
Evolution of extortion [Social Sciences]
Iterated games are a fundamental component of economic and evolutionary game theory. They describe situations where two players interact repeatedly and have the ability to use conditional strategies that depend on the outcome of previous interactions, thus allowing for reciprocation. Recently, a new...
[Editors' Choice] Microbes Hold the Key to Metformin-Induced Longevity
Intestinal Microbial Metabolism of Phosphatidylcholine and Cardiovascular Risk
Alzheimer Deaths Increased During the Previous Decade
The age-adjusted death rate from Alzheimer disease increased by 39%, from 18.1 to 25.1 per 100 000 population, between 2000 and 2010 in the United States, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Few Adults With Prediabetes Know About Their Condition
An estimated one-third of US adults aged 20 years or older have prediabetes, but only about 11% are aware of their condition, according to data collected during 2009-2010 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Mental training offers best chance of halting cognitive decline, finds review
Despite some manufacturers' claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that drugs or supplements help prevent cognitive decline in healthy older adults, a review of the research has found. The most promising evidence was for 'formal cognitive training,' usually involving the use of computer progra...
Population heterogeneity and causal inference [Social Sciences]
Population heterogeneity is ubiquitous in social science. The very objective of social science research is not to discover abstract and universal laws but to understand population heterogeneity. Due to population heterogeneity, causal inference with observational data in social science is impossible...
Prevalence of a Healthy Lifestyle Among Individuals With Cardiovascular Disea...
ImportanceLittle is known about adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors among individuals with a coronary heart disease (CHD) or stroke event in communities across a range of countries worldwide.ObjectiveTo examine the prevalence of avoidance or cessation of smoking, eating a healthy diet, and under...
Neuroprediction of future rearrest [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Identification of factors that predict recurrent antisocial behavior is integral to the social sciences, criminal justice procedures, and the effective treatment of high-risk individuals. Here we show that error-related brain activity elicited during performance of an inhibitory task prospectively p...
Digital records of behavior expose personal traits [Social Sciences]
We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Seriously Stressed? Hair Analysis Tells All, Study Finds
Single strand may yield evidence about heart-harmful hormone levels in seniors, researchers say
Well: Patterns: Stroke Belt and Teenagers
People living in the Southeastern United States during the teenage years were found to have a higher risk of stroke later in life.
12 Ounces of Sugary Soda a Day Raises Diabetes Risk: Study
European researchers found odds rose by up to 22 percent at this level of consumption
'Gut Reaction' May Predict Cardiovascular Risk
Higher levels of stomach substance called TMAO linked to heart attack, stroke, study suggests
Obesity Linked to Prostate Cancer, Study Finds
Men who had a biopsy that didn't find cancer were at raised risk for disease later if they were obese
Obesity in 20s Leads Men To Middle Age Death
Men who are obese in their young adult years are at significant risk for life threatening diseases that may cut their life short.
Hard Physical Labor May Boost Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke: Studies
Researcher says higher mental stress, lower income could be factors
Brain Changes Seen in Relatives of People With Alzheimer's
Study finding doesn't mean you'll get the disease if family members have it, experts stress
Risk of dementia declined over past 20 years
The risk of developing dementia may have declined over the past 20 years, in direct contrast to what many previously assumed. The decrease in dementia risk coincides with the general reduction in cardiovascular disease over recent decades, researchers said.
Poll: Aging US in denial about long-term care need
We're in denial: Americans underestimate their chances of needing long-term care as they get older - and are taking few steps to get ready....
Measuring Spine Angle in Elderly Can Predict Future Disability
A study to determine if posture can predict the future independence of older people has shown that the need for care can be predicted years ahead of time.
U. S. children born outside the United States have lower risk of allergic dis...
A new study suggests children living the in the United States but born outside the U.S. have a lower prevalence of allergic disease that increases after residing in the United States for one decade.
U.S. infant mortality rate declines
The rate dropped 12% from 2005 to 2011, with improvements among all major racial and ethnic groups, a government report says.
Infant mortality in the U.S. has declined 12% since 2005 after holding steady for many years, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
UNICEF: US Children Ranked Poorly In Health, Infant Mortality Rate
Out of the 29 most economically advanced countries, the United States demonstrated some of the lowest scores in health and poverty, according to a recent UNICEF report.
Treat pollution as serious health risk, report warns
When levels of ozone and particle pollution are high, the chance of asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death increases.
Community gardening could carry health benefits
New studies link community gardens to reduced risk for obesity, higher likelihood of life satisfaction
Poor, Minority Women Most Likely To Die Young From Breast Cancer
Poor and minority women are most likely to die after delaying treatment for the aggressive types of breast cancers experienced by younger women, ages 15 to 39, researchers report.
African Americans At Higher Genetic Risk For Alzheimer's
Blacks expressing a variant of a certain gene have a twofold risk of getting late-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Teen Pregnancy Cuts Breast Cancer Risk By 50%
A new study shows that pregnancy before the age of 20 reduces risk of cancer by 50 percent.
Latin America Faces Cancer Epidemic
With low-to-middle income countries facing 80 percent of the world's cancer burden and higher mortality rates from the disease, researchers examine what is required to improve cancer control in Latin America.
Fame and Fortune May Come At The Ultimate Price: Your Life
A new study claims that athletes and performers have shorter lifespans compared to common career paths.
Can Selenium Lower Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer?
Study found men with higher levels of mineral were 60 percent less likely to develop disease
Coffee And Green Tea May Help Lower Stroke Risk
Green tea and coffee may help lower your risk of having a stroke, according to new research.
Study: chicken, ground beef are riskiest meats
An analysis of more than 33,000 cases of foodborne illness shows that ground beef and chicken have caused more hospitalizations than other meats....
Survival of the shyest: Timidity's surprising benefits
Timid types get a bad rap, but discoveries about animal personalities suggest we should value shy people just as much as extroverts (full text available to subscribers)    
Eating Grapes May Be Your Best Bet In Protecting Against Heart Disease
Researchers say adding grapes to your diet may help your body defend against cardiovascular risk among other health concerns.
Salt Consumption On The Rise Despite Dire Heart Risks
Sodium intake has skyrocketed in the past decade despite the dire heart-related death tolls. Could topical salt-reduction be the answer to reducing risks?
High-salt diet and ulcer bug combine to increase risk of cancer
Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown that a diet high in salt is associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer. Now researchers have shown that high dietary salt combined with infection by the ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori greatly increases the risk of cancer.
'Western' Diet Not the Way to Age Well
British study says fried foods and red meat lead to premature aging, illness
Experts examine Mediterranean diet's health effects for older adults
According to a new study, a baseline adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of hyperuricemia, defined as a serum uric acid concentration higher than 7mg/dl in men and higher than 6mg/dl in women.
Chronic Stress Predicts Heart Disease Risk, Research Shows
Researchers say chronic stress may predict heart-related events, fatal and non-fatal.
Task force calls for routine HIV testing for all adults
The new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a government-backed panel of doctors and scientists, now align with longstanding recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing of all adults aged 15 to 65, regardless of their risk. Guidelines issued by the USPSTF in 2005 had recommended HIV screening for high-risk i... 
HIV In Brooklyn On The Rise, Particularly Among Borough's Young Black Gay Men
Diagnoses in older gay men have been declining since 2001 while the figures among the young are on the rise.
The New Old Age: A Rising Tide of Substance Abuse
Substance abuse and mental illness are on the rise among older people.
Babies' Birth Month May Affect MS Risk: Study
Lower levels of vitamin D seen among those born in May
Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease
Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.
Excess vitamin E intake not a health concern, study suggests
Despite concerns that have been expressed about possible health risks from high intake of vitamin E, a new review concludes that biological mechanisms exist to routinely eliminate excess levels of the vitamin, and they make it almost impossible to take a harmful amount.

NIH Press Releases

Membrane remodeling: Where yoga meets cell biology
Cells ingest proteins and engulf bacteria by a gymnastic, shape-shifting process called endocytosis. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health revealed how a key protein, dynamin, drives the action.
NIH and Children's National Medical Center open new cardiac intervention suite
A new state-of-the-art facility dedicated to pediatric cardiac imaging and intervention, co-established by the National Institutes of Health and Children's National Medical Center, was opened with a special dedication ceremony today. The new facility, located at Children's National in Washington, D.C., is the culmination of a long collaboration combining the cardiac imaging expertise at the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) with the renowned clinical care at Children?s National.
Suppressing protein may stem Alzheimer's disease process
Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered a potential strategy for developing treatments to stem the disease process in Alzheimer's disease. It's based on unclogging removal of toxic debris that accumulates in patients' brains, by blocking activity of a little-known regulator protein called CD33
Anti-HIV therapy appears to protect children's hearts, NIH network study shows
For children who have had HIV-1 infection since birth, the combination drug therapies now used to treat HIV appear to protect against the heart damage seen before combination therapies were available, according to researchers in a National Institutes of Health network study.
Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids, according to NIH study
Women who had sufficient amounts of vitamin D were 32 percent less likely to develop fibroids than women with insufficient vitamin D, according to a study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
Fat-free see-through brain bares all
Slicing optional. Scientists can now study the brain's finer workings, while preserving its 3-D structure and integrity of its circuitry and other biological machinery.
NIH-funded researchers create next-generation Alzheimer's disease model
A new genetically engineered lab rat that has the full array of brain changes associated with Alzheimer?s disease supports the idea that increases in a molecule called beta-amyloid in the brain causes the disease, according to a study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
New genetic link found between normal fetal growth and cancer
Two researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered a new genetic link between the rapid growth of healthy fetuses and the uncontrolled cell division in cancer. The findings shed light on normal development and on the genetic underpinnings of common cancers.

NIH Announcements

Biomarker Candidate Platforms for Inflammatory Diseases (U44)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AR-14-004 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fast Track grant applications that propose to test and/or validate novel, state-of-the-art candidate biomarker platforms for predicting the onset and progression of inflammatory diseases of interest to the NIAMS and for determining the pharmacodynamics, safety and/or efficacy of therapeutic agents targeting those diseases.
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R03) PA-13-123
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R21) PA-13-124
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R01) PA-13-125
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Obesity Policy Evaluation Research (R01) PA-13-110
Expiration Date: May 8, 2016
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
Biodemography of Aging (R21), Funding Number: PAR-12-079
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R03), Funding Number: PAR-12-080
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 3 - 5, 2013
Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX
Abstract deadline: December 3, 2012

The 25th REVES meeting on health expectancy
The University of Texas at Austin (TX), May 27-29, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2013

The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2012

108th Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
August 10-13, Hilton New York & Sheraton New York
The deadline for paper submission is January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
26 to 31 August 2013. Busan, Republic of Korea
Abstract deadline: November 7, 2012

66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of AmericaWednesday, 11/20 to Sunday, 11/24, 2013
Sheraton New Orleans - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, Louisiana
Deadline for abstract submissions is March 15, 2013


This Newsletter  is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5 P30 AG012857)

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