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CCBAR Newsletter – August, 2010

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau

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

Ageing: Delayed damage
Exercise and drastic dieting known as caloric restriction are known to have anti-ageing effects in the brain. Work in mice now suggests that the lifestyle changes preserve communication between nerves and muscles.Jeff
Ageing: Proteins clump with age
Ageing worms accumulate protein clumps similar to those observed in humans with Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.Cynthia Kenyon and her colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, searched for proteins made by the nematode
Why Can't We Live Forever?
As we grow old, our own cells begin to betray us. By unraveling the mysteries of aging, scientists may be able to make our lives longer and healthier
Evolutionary biology: Oh sibling, who art thou?
Help from earlier offspring in rearing a subsequent brood should evolve more easily when the mother is strictly monogamous. A comparative study of birds provides evidence in support of this view.
Evolution: Sharing a birthday
In groups of banded mongooses, which rear their young together, two-thirds of females give birth on the same night, despite mating on different days.Sarah Hodge at the University of Exeter, UK, and her colleagues looked
Which way for genetic-test regulation? Leave test interpretation to specialists
Although largely unregulated, genetic tests are increasingly used to diagnose conditions, map ancestry or predict disease risk. In this, the first of two related pieces, Arthur L. Beaudet advocates the US Food and Drug Administration banning direct-to-consumer medical tests but leaving the analysis ...
Which way for genetic-test regulation? Assign regulation appropriate to the l...
Although largely unregulated, genetic tests are increasingly used to diagnose conditions, map ancestry or predict disease risk. In this, the second of two related pieces, Gail Javitt argues that the US Food and Drug Administration should implement a regulatory framework for all health-related tests....
Behavioural neuroscience: Genes and the anxious brain
Some people are naturally more anxious than others. A brain-imaging study in monkeys provides surprising insights into which brain regions are under the influence of genes in this phenomenon and which are not.
Prevention: Reducing the risk of CVD in patients with periodontitis
The association between periodontitis and other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus, could be related to systemic inflammation initiated by a local inflammatory challenge. Oliveira et al. have added lack of oral hygiene, and its link with systemic inf...
Therapy: Vitamin B6, B9 and B12 in diabetic nephropathy?beware
Combination therapy with vitamins B6, B9 and B12 is a therapeutic intervention to decrease levels of plasma homocysteine and the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a recent trial found that cosupplementation with these vitamins exacerbated the decline in renal function and increased the risk o...
Diabetes: Shining a light: the role of vitamin D in diabetes mellitus
A new study shows that serum vitamin D concentration is inversely associated with HbA1c levels among adults in the US aged 35-74 years, in line with results from other observational studies. Should adults with diabetes mellitus or at risk of developing this disease take vitamin D to improve glycemia...
Risk factors: Eating for two? Maternal weight gain and offspring cardiovascul...
Gaining an excessive amount of weight before and during pregnancy could detrimentally affect the cardiovascular health of the child. This finding, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) is reported in Circulation by Abigail Fraser and colleagues.Recruitment of pregnant wom...
Obesity: Maternal weight linked to congenital anomalies in offspring
Two independent studies from the US and the UK have established an association between maternal weight and congenital anomalies in their offspring.James L. Mills (National Institute of Child Health and Development, Bethesda, MD, USA) and colleagues chose a population-based, nested case-control study...
Parkinson disease: Progress towards a molecular biomarker for Parkinson disease
Proteins linked to neurodegenerative diseases can potentially be used as biomarkers. A study now shows that after accounting for confounding variables such as age and blood contamination...
Multirelational organization of large-scale social networks in an online worl...
The capacity to collect fingerprints of individuals in online media has revolutionized the way researchers explore human society. Social systems.
Polyandry increases offspring viability and mother productivity but does not ...
Polyandrous mating is common, but the benefits for females of polyandry remain controversial. To test whether mating with multiple males...
Recovery of functional and structural age-related changes in the rat primary ...
Cognitive decline is a virtually universal aspect of the aging process. However, its neurophysiological basis remains poorly understood. We describe...
Neural sensitivity to social rejection is associated with inflammatory respon...
Although stress-induced increases in inflammation have been implicated in several major disorders, including cardiovascular disease and depression, the neurocognitive pathways...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Death risk link to large waists
People with large waist sizes, even those with a normal BMI, are at increased risk of dying, a US study says.
Arthritis 'cuts Alzheimer's risk'
A protein produced in rheumatoid arthritis appears to protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.
Really?: The Claim: Smoking Relieves Stress
Studies have found that lighting up causes long-term stress levels to rise, not fall.
Study Links Stress Biomarker With Delayed Conception
A study is the first to link a biomarker for stress with delayed conception in normal, healthy women
8 Anti-Aging Secrets French Women Won't Tell You
What Makes French Women So Timelessly Beautiful? They'll Never Tell, But We Will.
Study: U.S. Girls Entering Puberty Earlier
Early Development Linked to Higher Risk of Breast Cancer, Depression and Sexual Activity
As older people grow in numbers, experts seek ways to handle the coming boom
The tsunami looms: By 2050, nearly 90 million Americans will have passed age 65, and every corner of society will feel the impact. With our inadequate health-care workforce, outmoded retirement ideas and rigid housing policies, how can our country prepare? Beyond rethinking ways to ensure retirement...
New health-care law provides free preventive care for many seniors
Preventive health care is important at any age, but never more so than as we get older. Many of the major cancers that can be screened for -- such as breast and colorectal cancer -- are typically diagnosed at about age 70. After age 55, people have a 90 percent chance of developing high blood pre...
Medicare funds to last 12 years longer than earlier forecast, report says
Medicare's finances have been strengthened by the new law setting in motion broad changes to the nation's health-care system, according to a government forecast issued Thursday, which says the fund that pays for older Americans' hospital care will last a dozen years longer than expected
Moscow deaths double in heatwave
Moscow's health chief confirms the mortality rate has doubled as a heatwave and wildfire smog continue to grip the Russian capital.
Study: Working mothers not necessarily harmful to child development
A new study finds that babies raised by working mothers don't necessarily suffer cognitive setbacks, an encouraging finding that follows a raft of previous reports suggesting that women with infants were wiser to stay home.
Do Big Babies Turn Into Obese Adults?
While there's nothing cuter than a chubby baby, newborns that weigh more than 8 pounds, 12 ounces, may be at risk for obesity in their adulthood, a new study suggests
Youngest in class get ADHD label
Nearly 1 million children may have been misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, not because they have real behavior .
Weekend Reading: Dietary Supplements
Consumer Reports says people should avoid dietary supplements containing certain risky ingredients.
'Magnetic' solution to identify and kill tumors
Scientists are developing a new way to destroy tumors with fewer side effects and minimal damage to surrounding tissue. The innovative method uses heat to kill the tumor cells but leaves surrounding healthy tissue intact. Using specific biomarkers attached to individual tumors, the mixture of nano-particles and antibodies locates and binds to the tumor itself.
Rectal Cancer on the Rise in Young People
The incidence of rectal cancer increased 3.8% per year between 1984 and 2005 among individuals age 40 and younger while the incidence of colon cancer remained unchanged, according to a new study.
Fit heart 'keeps brain younger'
Keeping your heart fit and strong can slow down the ageing of your brain, say researchers.
Calcium pills 'raise' heart risk
Calcium supplements taken by many older people could be increasing their risk of a heart attack, research shows.
Dark chocolate 'can be healthy'
Eating small amounts of dark chocolate now and again can lower the risk of heart failure, a study shows
Love red meat? Cutting back just a bit helps heart
Eating too much red meat has long been a no-no for people with high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. But it hasn't always been clear how much is too much.
Berries May Slow Mental Decline From Aging
Compounds found in various berries and possibly in walnuts may slow down natural aging processes in the brain, new research indicates.
Mystery as Tokyo loses track of its centenarians
Japanese authorities admitted Tuesday they'd lost track of a 113-year-old woman listed as Tokyo's oldest, days after police searched the home of the city's official oldest man - only to find his long-dead, mummified body....
Family Relations: An International Comparison
A multinational study finds that elderly Americans and their adult children have unusually strained relationships.
Close friend, family relationships boost survival
Family and friends may do more than provide companionship: They also may boost your longevity, making as much of a difference as not smoking, ...
Relationship insecurity may undermine health
People who feel insecure in their relationships may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and other health problems, according to a ...
Marriage and committed romance reduce stress-related hormone production
Being married has often been associated with improving people's health, but a new study suggests that having that long-term bond also alters hormones in a way that reduces stress. Unmarried people in a committed, romantic relationship show the same reduced responses to stress as do married people.
Study: Anger Can Harm the Heart
Personality type and the ability to control anger and other aggressive behaviors may have an effect on heart health and one's risk for stroke, according to a new study published in the journal Hypertension.
Oxytocin makes people trusting, but not gullible, study suggests
Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that plays an important role in social behavior -- it has even been nicknamed "the love hormone" and "liquid trust." Increased levels of OT have been associated with greater caring, generosity, and trust. But does OT increase people's trust in anybody or does it act more selectively? Recent findings suggest that OT fosters trust, but not gullibility: OT may make individuals more trusting, but only in certain situations.
Study: The longer you sit, the shorter your life
Women who spent six hours a day sitting had a 37% increased risk of dying versus those who spent less than three hours a day on their bottoms. ...
Chemicals in meat may be linked to bladder cancer
The same chemicals that paint your hot dogs pink and keep botulism out of your bologna could also raise your risk of bladder cancer, suggests a new study.
Low Blood Flow Ages Brain Faster
People whose hearts pump blood inefficiently may lose brain volume faster, putting them at risk for dementia, a new study indicates.
Too Little Sleep May Raise Heart Disease Risk
People who sleep for less than seven hours a day, including naps, are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Exercise and caloric restriction rejuvenate synapses in lab mice
Researchers have uncovered a mechanism through which caloric restriction and exercise delay some of the debilitating effects of aging by rejuvenating connections between nerves and the muscles that they control. The research begins to explain prior findings that exercise and restricted-calorie diets help to stave off the mental and physical degeneration of aging.
Cholesterol levels in young adults predict risk of future heart disease
Young people with even modestly elevated cholesterol levels are more likely to develop coronary artery calcium and atherosclerosis later in life, according to a 20-year study.

NIH Press Releases

New breast cancer committee to establish federal research agenda
A newly formed advisory committee will develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer. The 19-member Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC) was established by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to review all breast cancer research efforts conducted or supported by federal agencies.
Atrazine causes prostate inflammation in male rats and delays puberty
A new study shows that male rats prenatally exposed to low doses of atrazine, a widely used herbicide, are more likely to develop prostate inflammation and to go through puberty later than non-exposed animals. The research adds to a growing body of literature on atrazine, an herbicide predominantly used to control weeds and grasses in crops such as corn and sugar cane. Atrazine and its byproducts are known to be relatively persistent in the environment, potentially finding their way into water supplies.
New NIH website offers easy access to information on bone health
A new Web resource providing people with the latest science-based information on bone health and bone disease is available through the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases -- National Resource Center (NRC). The site is
NIH launches effort to define markers of human immune responses to infection ...
A new nationwide research initiative has been launched to define changes in the human immune system, using human and not animal studies, in response to infection or to vaccination. Six U. S.-based Human Immune Phenotyping Centers will receive a total of $100 million over five years to conduct this research.
NIH study indicates stress may delay women getting pregnant
A study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford supports the widespread belief that stress may reduce a woman's chance of becoming pregnant. The study is the first of its kind to document, among women without a history of fertility problems, an association between high levels of a substance indicative of stress and a reduced chance of becoming pregnant.
NIHSeniorHealth site offers information about older adults and alcohol use
Having a drink now and then as you get older is not usually thought to be harmful, but alcohol can be a problem for older adults, especially if they take certain medications, have health problems or don't control their drinking. Alcohol Use and Older Adults,, the newest topic on NIHSeniorHealth, provides helpful information about the effect alcohol may have on our bodies, health and lifestyles as we age. NIHSeniorHealth is the premier health and wellness website for older adults. It was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.
Women's cholesterol levels vary with phase of menstrual cycle
National Institutes of Health researchers have shown that women's cholesterol levels correspond with monthly changes in estrogen levels. This natural variation, they suggest, might indicate a need to take into account the phases of a woman's monthly cycle before evaluating her cholesterol measures. On average, the total cholesterol level of the women in the study varied 19 percent over the course of the menstrual cycle.
NIH Seeks to Break New Ground in Reducing Health Disparities
The National Institutes of Health today launched a multidisciplinary network of experts who will explore new approaches to understanding the origins of health disparities, or differences in the burden of disease among population groups. Using state-of-the-science conceptual and computational models, the network's goal is to identify important areas where interventions or policy changes could have the greatest impact in eliminating health disparities. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), part of NIH, is contracting with the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, to establish the Network on Inequality, Complexity, and Health (NICH).
NIH Genomic Mapping Study Finds Largest Set of Genes Related to Major Risk Fa...
Scanning the genomes of more than 100,000 people from all over the world, scientists report the largest set of genes discovered underlying high cholesterol and high triglycerides -- the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, the nation's number one killer. Taken together, the gene variants explain between a quarter and a third of the inherited portions of cholesterol and triglyceride measured in the blood. The research, representing scientists from 17 countries, appears in two papers in the Aug. 5 issue of Nature.
NIH-Funded Researchers Generate Mature Egg Cells From Early Ovarian Follicles
Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have for the first time activated mouse egg cells at the earliest stage of their development and brought them to maturity. In a related experiment, the researchers replicated the finding by also bringing human eggs to maturity in the laboratory.
NIH Director Announces Appointment of Robert Kaplan as Associate Director for...
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced today the appointment of Robert M. Kaplan, Ph.D., as Director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) and NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. Dr. Kaplan is expected to join the NIH in early 2011.
NIH-Funded Researchers Make Progress Toward Regenerating Tissue to Re...
A team of NIH-funded researchers has successfully regenerated rabbit joints using a cutting edge process to form the joint inside the body, or in vivo. Regenerative in vivo procedures are performed by stimulating previously irreparable organs or tissues to heal themselves. In this study, bioscaffolds, or three-dimensional structures made of biocompatible and biodegradable materials in the shape of the tissue, were infused with a protein to promote growth of the rabbit joint.

NIH Announcements

Psychosocial Stress and Behavior: Integration of Behavioral and Physiological...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Development of Comprehensive and Conceptually-based Measures of Psychosocial ...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Basic Mechanisms Influencing Behavioral Maintenance (R01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases and Disorders Across the Lifespan: Fogarty...
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Participation of NIGMS on PAR-10-235, Climate Change and Health: Assessing an...
Effects of the Social Environment on Health: Measurement, Methods and Mechani...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientists (BRAINS) (R01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NICHD Program Project Grant (P01)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NICHDs Scientific Vision: The Next Decade

Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAICs) (P30) 
Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AG-11-002
Expiration Date: October 22, 2010
Alzheimer’s Disease Core Centers (P30)
Request For Applications (RFA) Number:  RFA-AG-11-005
Expiration Date: October 14, 2010
Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease (R01)
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-ES-10-002
Expiration Date: September 30, 2010
Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Submissions for FY2011 Fu...

Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Change in Application Submission Package and Clarification of Research Strate...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Correction on the First Submission Date for Resubmission and Revision Applica...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Advancing Novel Science in Womens Health Research (ANSWHR) (R21)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

Subjective Well-being: Advances in Measurement and Applications to Aging (R01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages ...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

Expiration Date: October 15, 2010



The National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and the Foundation for NIH, will be holding the Second Cognitive Aging Summit to take place in Washington, DC, on October 4-5, 2010. Online registration for the meeting is now open, and you can register by following this link:  Cognitive Aging Summit 2010 – Registration

Gerontological Society of America's 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting, November 19-23, 2010, Hilton, New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA.

4th National Conference on Genomics and Public Health: Using Genomic Information to Improve Health Now and in the Future.
Date: Wednesday, December 8 - Friday, December 10, 2010. Location: Bethesda North Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland

Population Association of America Annual Meeting.
The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held March 31-April 2 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel, Washington, DC.
(Note:  The Welcome Mixer is on Wednesday, March 30, 8:30 p.m.)

2011 American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, May 11-14, 2011. Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD.

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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