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CCBAR Newsletter – December, 2007

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau

News From the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ and PNAS

Breast cancer risk associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 in diverse populations
Germline mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumour-suppressor genes are strong predictors of breast and/or ovarian cancer development. The contribution of these mutations to breast cancer risk within any specific population is a function of both their prevalence and their penetrance. Mutation prevalence

Interfering with conception
Some 60 years after the Pill was introduced, modern birth control is set to get a much-needed facelift ? the development of a revolutionary, no-risk contraceptive method has been announced.The new approach ? developed by the researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard

Diabetes: Missing links
Researchers have now probably pinpointed all the genes in the MHC genomic region that are risk factors in type 1 diabetes. As the MHC is unusually rich in genes involved in immunity, this is truly exciting.

From the Cover: Phylogenetic analyses of behavior support exis...  Culture has long been considered to be not only unique to humans, but also responsible for making us qualitatively different...

Statistical evaluation of alternative models of human evolu...   An appropriate model of recent human evolution is not only important to understand our own history, but it is necessary...

Spying On New Neurons in the Human Brain   On page 980 of this week's issue of Science, a multidisciplinary team describes a technique that uses magnetic resonance spectroscopy to detect a biomarker for the progenitor cells that give rise to new neurons.

Global climate change, war, and population decline in recen...   Although scientists have warned of possible social perils resulting from climate change, the impacts of long-term climate change on social...

From the Cover: Maternal family history of Alzheimer's dis...   Having a parent affected with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a risk factor for developing AD among cognitively normal subjects....

Childhood Body-Mass Index and the Risk of Coronary Heart Di...   In this Danish study, body-mass index in childhood was associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) events in adulthood. The association was stronger in boys than in girls, and the risk of an event in adulthood increased in both sexes as the child's age increased from 7 to 13 years. These important data focus attention on the public health significance of the epidemic of childhood obesity.

Adolescent Overweight and Future Adult Coronary Heart Disease   Obesity, which is increasingly common among adolescents, is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). In this report, modeling the effects of overweight and obesity in adolescents on the risk of future CHD projects a substantial increase in the number of cases in the future.

Statistics in Medicine -- Reporting of Subgroup Analyses in ...   The analysis of subgroups is often used as a way to glean additional information from data sets. The strengths and weaknesses of this approach and new Journal policies concerning the reporting of subgroup analyses are discussed in this article.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Smoking Moms May Risk Daughters' Fertility
Moms who smoke before, during, and even after pregnancy may be compromising their daughters' future fertility, new research in mice suggests.
Stiff Arteries May Stifle Aging Mind
Adults with stiffer arteries may have more memory and concentration problems as they age than other adults, researchers report.
Bad To The Bone: Shedding Light On Osteoporosis
Ten million people in the US are estimated to already have bone diseases, and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Scientists are now researching how osteocytes -- the cells encased inside your bones -- sense external stimuli and communicate with cells on the surface, signaling them to either build more bone or remove existing bone.
Regular Exercise Reduces Risk Of Blood Clots, Study Suggests
Regular participation in sports reduces the risk of developing blood clots by 39 percent in women and 22 percent in men. The authors note that, while strenuous activity is known to increase the risk of blood clot development in the elderly, regular exercise is also shown to greatly benefit the heart, and that the net effect of elderly sports participation may be positive.
Stress Hormone May Hasten The Progression Of Certain Blood Cancers
Researchers here have shown that in cell cultures, the stress hormone norepinephrine appears to promote the biochemical signals that stimulate certain tumor cells to grow and spread. The finding, if verified, may suggest a way of slowing the progression and spread of some cancers enough so that conventional chemotherapeutic treatments would have a better chance to work.
Pill's cancer risk 'reversible'
The increased risk of cervical cancer associated with the pill is reversible, an international study says.
Chubby Gets a Second Look
Thin may be in, but chubby people have a lower risk of death than skinny people.
Could We Live Forever? Or Even Come Close?
Lifespans are increasing, and the science and technology to push the limits on human aging are improving. Daniel Sieberg asks: Just how long can we live?
Farming, Fatherhood Hallmarks of Men Who Live to 100
A young, trim farmer with four or more children: According to a new study, that's the ideal profile for American men hoping to reach 100 years of age.
Does Beta-Carotene Preserve Memory?
Beta-carotene supplements, when taken for many years, may preserve memory and other thinking skills, perhaps reducing the risk of dementia, according to a new study.
Study: Grandma's got her groove on
U.S. women ages 55 and older are enjoying sex more than women the same age a decade ago, suggests a survey released Sunday. But ...

Women Risk Risky Sex at Worst Time
Kinsey Institute: Women are most attracted to sex with masculine, high-risk men during ovulation, when they are most likely to get pregnant.
Eating Fish, Omega-3 Oils, Fruits And Veggies Lowers Risk Of Memory Problems
A diet rich in fish, omega-3 oils, fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, whereas consuming omega-6 rich oils could increase chances of developing memory problems, according to a new study.
Obesity And Overweight Linked To Higher Prostate Cancer Mortality
Men who are overweight or obese when diagnosed with prostate cancer are at greater risk of death after treatment. A greater body mass index (BMI) at the time of cancer diagnosis was an independent risk factor for prostate cancer-related death.
Proof broken hearts can be fatal
The risk of death rises in the months following a bereavement, research shows.
Normal ageing 'can addle brain'
Normal ageing is enough to disrupt communication between different parts of the brain, research shows.
Study: Being fit may outweigh being fat
If you are over 60, go take a hike or at least a brisk walk on a regular basis. It may help you live a few more years, even if ...
A Theory That Raises Questions
Over the past several decades, a steady stream of studies has documented that people born in winter and spring have an increased risk for schizophrenia, a serious mental illness characterized by disordered thinking, hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.
Aging: Walking faster and outpacing death
Researchers who followed the health of older people for almost a decade found that those who walked more quickly were less likely to die.

NIH Press Releases

Imaging Neural Progenitor Cells in the Living Human Brain
For the first time, investigators have identified a way to detect neural progenitor cells (NPCs), which can develop into neurons and other nervous system cells, in the living human brain using a type of imaging called magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The finding, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment for depression, Parkinson's disease, brain tumors, and a host of other disorders.

Diabetes Rates Are Increasing Among Youth
To help young people diagnosed with diabetes and their parents, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) is introducing a new series of tip sheets and an online quiz specially created for teens to help them manage their disease and reduce their risk for complications. NDEP is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Scientists Identify Gene That Influences Alcohol Consumption
A variant of a gene involved in communication among brain cells has a direct influence on alcohol consumption in mice, according to a new study by scientists supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Army.

Pheromones Identified that Trigger Aggression between Male Mice
A family of proteins commonly found in mouse urine is able to trigger fighting between male mice, a study in the Dec. 6, 2007, issue of Nature has found. The study, which is the first to identify protein pheromones responsible for the aggression response in mice, was funded in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Research on Co-Morbid Mental and Other Physical Disorders (R01)

NIH Reduces Temporary "Error Correction Window" for Electronic Grant Applications from Five Business Days to Two

Promoting Careers In Aging and Health Disparities Research (K01)

National Study of Disability Trends and Dynamics (U01)

Predictive Multiscale Models of the Physiome in Health and Disease (R01)

Paul B. Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging (K08 & K23)

Notice of a Report from the National Institute on Aging Meetings on New Interventions for Menopausal Symptoms

Basic and Translational Research Opportunities in the Social Neuroscience of Mental Health (R01)

Harmonization of Longitudinal Cross-National Surveys of Aging (R21)

Advancing Novel Science in Women s Health Research (ANSWHR) [R21]


NIH videocast

Obesity Initiative
OPASI ROUNDS Lecture Series
American Health Information Community - January 2008
GMAC - Clinical Trials in Foreign Countries - Emerging Nations and Minorities...
HPV Infection and Cervical Cancer: Applying What We Have Learned About Natura...
Aired date: 12/07/2007
TRACO: P53 and Inflammation, Epidemiology
Aired date: 12/10/2007

Living to 100: Survival to Advanced Ages International Seminar,  January 8-9, 2008.  Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education Annual Meeting,  February 21-24, 2008. Baltimore, USA
This Newsletter  is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5 P30 AG012857)