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CCBAR Newsletter – April, 2014

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


On April 7, 2014 Natalia Gavrilova gave an outreach lecture about CCBAR at the Workshop on demographics of longevity,  Department of Population Studies of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Mexico. Another outreach lecture about biosocial survey research in the United States and worldwide was given by Natalia Gavrilova for physicians from Kazakhstan at the Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS at the University of Chicago) on April 18, 2014. 

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

Biomarkers and ageing: The clock-watcher
by W. Wayt Gibbs
Biomathematician Steve Horvath has discovered a strikingly accurate way to measure human ageing through epigenetic signatures.
The RNA Revolution
by Christine Gorman, Dina Fine Maron
Long overlooked as a mere cellular housekeeper, RNA has emerged as a path to a new world of medical treatment
Sperm RNA carries marks of trauma
by Virginia Hughes
Stress alters the expression of small RNAs in male mice and leads to depressive behaviours in later generations.
Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of ...
by Katharina Gapp, Ali Jawaid, Peter Sarkies, Johannes Bohacek, Pawel Pelczar, Julien Prados, Laurent Farinelli, Eric MiskaIsabelle M Mansuy
In this study, the authors show that the heritable behavioral and metabolic changes that are observed in rodents exposed to early life stress are mediated by changes in miRNA levels in the sperm of affected males. Injection of isolated RNA from the sperm of stressed males into donor fertilized oocyt...
Ubiquitin sets the timer: impacts on aging and longevity
by Éva Kevei, Thorsten Hoppe
Protein homeostasis is essential for cellular function, organismal growth and viability. Damaged and aggregated proteins are turned over by two major proteolytic routes of the cellular quality-control pathways: the ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy. For both these pathways, ubiquitination pr...
The role of vitamin D in reducing cancer risk and progression
by David Feldman, Aruna V. Krishnan, Srilatha Swami, Edward Giovannucci, Brian J. Feldman
Vitamin D is not really a vitamin but the precursor to the potent steroid hormone calcitriol, which has widespread actions throughout the body. Calcitriol regulates numerous cellular pathways that could have a role in determining cancer risk and prognosis. Although epidemiological and early clinical...
Rescuing US biomedical research from its flaws [Medical Sciences]
by Alberts, B., Kirschner, M. W., Tilghman, S., Varmus, H.
The long-held but erroneous assumption of never-ending rapid growth in biomedical science has created an unsustainable hypercompetitive system that is discouraging even the most outstanding prospective students from entering our profession?and making it difficult for seasoned investigators to produc...
Adversity, genetic sensitivity, and child telomere [Psychological and Cogniti...
by Mitchell, C., Hobcraft, J., McLanahan, S. S., Siegel, S. R., Berg, A., Brooks-Gunn, J., Garfinkel, I., Notterman, D.
Disadvantaged social environments are associated with adverse health outcomes. This has been attributed, in part, to chronic stress. Telomere length (TL) has been used as a biomarker of chronic stress: TL is shorter in adults in a variety of contexts, including disadvantaged social standing and depr...
Researchers Test Strategies to Prevent Alzheimer Disease
by Friedrich MJ.
A decade of disappointing clinical trial results for Alzheimer disease (AD)-modifying therapies in people suggests that treatment should be targeted at earlier stages in the disease?even before overt symptoms arise.
Nutrition: Dietary protein and lifespan
by Randy Levinson
Lifelong skeletal benefits of physical activity [Medical Sciences]
by Warden, S. J., Mantila Roosa, S. M., Kersh, M. E., Hurd, A. L., Fleisig, G. S., Pandy, M. G., Fuchs, R. K.
The skeleton shows greatest plasticity to physical activity-related mechanical loads during youth but is more at risk for failure during aging. Do the skeletal benefits of physical activity during youth persist with aging? To address this question, we used a uniquely controlled cross-sectional study...
Americans are ill prepared for the ACA [Economic Sciences]
by Barcellos, S. H., Wuppermann, A. C., Carman, K. G., Bauhoff, S., McFadden, D. L., Kapteyn, A., Winter, J. K., Goldman, D.
This paper investigates whether individuals are sufficiently informed to make reasonable choices in the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We document knowledge of health reform, health insurance literacy, and expected changes in healthcare using a nationally re...
The New Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Guidelines Perspective on the Path For...
by Krumholz HM.
After much delay, deliberation, and drama, the long-awaited updates of the cholesterol and blood pressure guidelines were released during the last 6 months. These guidelines were intended to distill the wisdom that emerged since the last versions of these authoritative documents were released more t...
Dyslipidaemia: Implications of new statin guidelines
by Gregory B. Lim
In November 2013, the ACC and the AHA released new guidelines on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic risk in adults. The recommendations in this document are a substantial departure from those in the Third Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) of the National

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Scientists seek genetic clues to longevity from 115-year-old woman
Woman who died in 2005 is believed to be the oldest person ever to donate her body to science
Aging linked to cellular interactions that occur across generations
By studying the reproductive cells of nematodes -- tiny worms found in soil and compost bins -- a researcher identified the Piwi/piRNA genome silencing pathway, the loss of which results in infertility after many generations. This study also found a signaling pathway -- a series of molecular interactions inside cells -- that could be tweaked to overcome infertility while also causing the worms to live longer adult lives.
High risk for eye disease?
Women are at higher risk for some eye diseases than men and the majority aren't aware of this.
Well: Aspirin Benefits Some at Risk for Colon Cancer
Many studies have found that regular aspirin use reduces the risk for colon cancer. Now scientists have found that aspirin may benefit some people far more than others.
Could more coffee lower your odds for diabetes?
People who drink at least three cups of java daily may reduce their risk for insulin resistance
Study Links Coffee to Lower Liver Cancer Risk
Daily drinkers had reduced risk of the most common form of liver malignancy, but researchers can't say why
Two breath compounds could be associated with larynx cancer
Volatile substances exhaled by eleven people with cancer of larynx have been compared with those of another twenty healthy people. The results show that the concentrations of certain molecules, mainly ethanol and 2-butanone, are higher in individuals with carcinoma, therefore they act as potential markers of the disease. Human breath contains thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and some of them can be used as non-invasive biomarkers for various types of head and neck cancers as well as...
Well: Pregnancy Weight Gain Predicts Child's Obesity
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk that your child will be obese as a preschooler, new evidence shows. Gaining too little weight may have the same effect.
Risk of false positives from mammograms
Daily health headlines: New study looks at the consequences of getting a false positive mammogram, a link between dietary fats and colon cancer, plus more top stories.
Stress may make allergy symptoms worse
Study found people with hay fever who had high levels of stress suffered more severe symptoms
Young Dads at Risk of Depressive Symptoms, Study Finds
But experts stress findings don't mean fatherhood at an early age dooms men to clinical depression
Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health
A new article reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-esteem, and sense of control over their lives. In particular, listening to gospel music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and an increase in sense of control.
Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, Study Finds
Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Laugh it off! New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults.
Nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults now have diabetes
Diabetes rate has almost doubled since 1980s, keeping pace with obesity -- but doctors see a few encouraging signs
High-Fat Diet May Boost Breast Cancer Risk
Study found women who ate the most saturated fat were more likely to develop tumors
Genetic risk of Alzheimer's has gender bias
Carrying a variant of the APOE gene increases Alzheimer's risk – but comparing men's and women's genetic risk suggests it's not that simple

NIH Press Releases

HHS leaders call for expanded use of medications to combat opioid overdose ep...
Commentary describes vital medications are being underutilized in addiction treatment.
Glaucoma drug helps women with blinding disorder linked to obesity
Drug treatment and weight loss can restore lost vision, NIH-funded study shows.
Muscle weakness seen in alcoholism linked to mitochondrial repair issues
Evidence found that chronic heavy alcohol use affects a gene involved in mitochondrial repair and muscle regeneration.
Jump-starting natural resilience reverses stress susceptibility
Compensatory response shields mice from depression-like behaviors ? NIH-funded study.
Eavesdropping on brain cell chatter
NIH-funded researchers develop novel tools to learn how astrocytes listen in on neurons.
Research consortium including NIH proposes diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia
Condition leads to disability in many older adults.
Gene linked to excess male hormones in female infertility disorder
Discovery by NIH-supported researchers may lead to diagnostic test, treatment.
Unexpected protein partnership has implications for cancer treatment
NIH scientists find unusual method that may alter tumor growth.
GuLF STUDY gears up for second round of health exams
Research continues four years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Too much protein may kill brain cells as Parkinson's progresses
NIH-funded study on key Parkinson's gene finds a possible new target for monitoring the disease.
Aspirin does not prevent pregnancy loss, NIH study finds
Increased live birth rate in subgroup of participants.
Obesity primes the colon for cancer, according to NIH study
Obesity, rather than diet, causes changes in the colon that may lead to colorectal cancer, according to a study in mice by the National Institutes of Health.
Disorganized cortical patches suggest prenatal origin of autism
NIH-funded study shows disrupted cell layering process in the developing brain.

Funding Announcements

Juvenile Protective Factors and Their Effects on Aging (R03)
Expiration Date: July 17, 2016
Analysis of Genome-Wide Gene-Environment (G x E) Interactions (R21)
Funding Opportunity PAR-13-382 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this FOA is to provide support for research projects that involve secondary data analyses of existing genome-wide data from genome-wide association studies or other large genomic datasets for the purpose of identifying gene-environment interactions. The ultimate objective of this funding opportunity is the discovery of complex interplays of genes and environmental factors in human populations which may disclose novel genetic susceptibilities to environmental exposures or a greater understanding of the role of environmental exposures in the development, progression, and severity of complex human diseases.
NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13)
Funding Number: PA-13-347
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016
Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15)
Funding Number: PA-13-313
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016
Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R21)
Funding Number: PA-13-288
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016
Mid-life Reversibility of Early-established Biobehavioral Risk Factors (R01)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-14-006 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is to solicit two-year Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose to explore the potential for midlife plasticity of biobehavioral or psychological systems affected by early life disadvantage. In order to speed the development of novel intervention strategies, applicants are encouraged either to use existing human cohort data to identify circumstances that mitigate or exacerbate the effects of early adversity or to use human and/or animal models to test the feasibility of developing interventions aimed specifically at increasing malleability in adulthood of risk persistence mechanisms.
High Priority Behavioral and Social Research Networks (R24)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-14-007 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), working in part with funds contributed by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research ( ), is to provide infrastructure support for advancing development of specific emerging and high priority interdisciplinary areas of behavioral and social research of relevance to aging. The infrastructure support will facilitate research networks through meetings, conferences, small scale pilots, training, and dissemination to encourage growth and development of specified priority areas and of resources for the field at large. Projects are solicited that will develop, strengthen, and evaluate transdisciplinary approaches and methods for basic behavioral and/or social research.
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



2014 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 
Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, May 1-3, 2014
Abstract deadline was September 27, 2013

2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 15 - 17, 2014
Orlando, Florida
Abstract deadline was December 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST

The 26th REVES meeting on health expectancy
Edinburgh, UK, May 28-30, 2014
Abstract submission deadline was February 1, 2014

The 67th Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, November 5-9, 2014
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC
Abstract submission deadline was March 5, 2014

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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