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CCBAR Newsletter – December, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


A new page has been added to the CCBAR website - Current Content of Journals on Aging, Population, and Biomarkers:

This page provides links to current content for over 60 scientific journals divided by such topics as Gerontology, Population Studies, Epidemiology, and others. The development of this webpage is still in progress and we would be glad to receive your feedback. The webpage uses RSS feed technology which continuously updates the content.

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

Evolutionary biology: Modern humans smell good
Did Homo sapiens benefit from the evolution of a fine sense of smell? Researchers who analysed the shape of fossil skulls from Neanderthals, modern humans and their ancestors say that the idea is plausible.Markus Bastir at the Spanish National Museum of Natural Sciences
Biomarkers: Major mathematical hurdles for biomarker-based screening
A new study uses mathematical modelling to investigate the limitations of blood-based biomarkers for cancer screening.
Animal behaviour: Rats rescue others in distress
Primates show signs of empathy, but can other mammals sense and respond to emotional distress in another individual? Yes, say Peggy Mason and her co-workers at the University of Chicago in Illinois, who report that rats will liberate a trapped individual even when they do
Evolution and development: How the brain became human
Humans' evolution of big brains and unique cognitive abilities may be down to key regulators that control gene expression during development.Philipp Khaitovich and Svante Pääbo at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and their colleagues compared gene-expressio...
Native Americans experienced a strong population bottleneck coincident with E...
The genetic and demographic impact of European contact with Native Americans has remained unclear despite recent interest. Whereas archeological and historical records indicate that European contact resulted in widespread mortality from various sources, genetic studies have found little evidence of ...
Brain network local interconnectivity loss in aging APOE-4 allele carriers [N...
Old age and possession of the APOE-4 allele are the two main risk factors for developing later onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Carriers of the APOE-4 allele have known differences in intrinsic functional brain network activity across the life span. These individuals also demonstrate specific regiona...
How infants and toddlers react to antisocial others [Psychological and Cognit...
Although adults generally prefer helpful behaviors and those who perform them, there are situations (in particular, when the target of an action is disliked) in which overt antisocial acts are seen as appropriate, and those who perform them are viewed positively. The current studies explore the deve...
Common oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphism and social support interact...
The neuropeptide oxytocin has played an essential role in the regulation of social behavior and attachment throughout mammalian evolution. Because recent studies in humans have shown that oxytocin administration reduces stress responses and increases prosocial behavior, we investigated whether a com...
ADHD Medications and Risk of Serious Cardiovascular Events in Young and Middl...
More than 1.5 million US adults use stimulants and other medications labeled for treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These agents can increase heart rate and blood pressure, raising concerns about their cardiovascular safety.
Objective To examine whether current use ...
Causes of Death Among Stillbirths [Original Contribution]
Stillbirth affects 1 in 160 pregnancies in the United States, equal to the number of infant deaths each year. Rates are higher than those of other developed countries and have stagnated over the past decade. There is significant racial disparity in the rate of stillbirth that is unexplained....
Aging of US Presidents [Research Letters]
by Olshansky, S. J.
[News Focus] U.S. Science Policy: Suresh Expects Low-Cost Ideas Will Mean a B...
The director of the National Science Foundation has hit the ground running with a flurry of new programs aimed at leveraging precious federal dollars.
Recession has not affected access to prescription drugs in US
The economic recession has had no effect on the ability of US citizens to access prescription drugs, show the results of a new survey from the independent Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, DC.Health insurance in the United States is generally provided through the workplace. As ...
Recognising the potential of cities
Cities have never enjoyed a good reputation for health. In many African and Asian cities, health problems and life expectancies are still as bad as in 19th century cities in Europe and North America. Yet other cities have some of the world's highest life expectancies.Most of the world's cities are n...
Equitable decision making is associated with neural markers of intrinsic valu...
Standard economic and evolutionary models assume that humans are fundamentally selfish. On this view, any acts of prosociality?such as cooperation, giving, and other forms of altruism?result from covert attempts to avoid social injunctions against selfishness. However, even in the absence of social ...
Evolution and structure of sustainability science [Sustainability Science]
The concepts of sustainable development have experienced extraordinary success since their advent in the 1980s. They are now an integral part of the agenda of governments and corporations, and their goals have become central to the mission of research laboratories and universities worldwide. However...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Blood Pressure Changes in Middle Age Can Affect Heart Risk
A change in your blood pressure during early middle age can significantly affect your lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.
Personal Health: High Sodium-to-Potassium Ratio in Diet Is a Major Heart Risk
While a diet high in sodium - salt is the main source - increases heart disease risk, even more important is the ratio of sodium (harmful) to potassium (protective).
Beer and Martinis: Just as Effective as Wine for Longevity?
A new analysis suggests that martinis and beer may be just as effective as wine at extending life.
Brain size may predict risk for early Alzheimer's disease
New research suggests that, in people who don't currently have memory problems, those with smaller regions of the brain's cortex may be more likely to develop symptoms consistent with very early Alzheimer's disease.
Study Links Eating Fish To Reduced Alzheimer's Risk
There is a good reason to put fish on the menu, according to research presented at the Chicago meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
Phys Ed: For Older Runners, Good News and Bad
Runners over 60 were just as efficient as younger runners, even those in their 20s, though they are more prone to injuries.
'See elderly as human beings'
US elderly care expert Dr Bill Thomas says the way they are cared for needs to change
U.S. Suspends Use of Chimps in New Research
The National Institutes of Health suspended new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees.
Same-sex marriage boosts gay men's health, study suggests
Gay married men less likely to visit clinics with stress-related hypertension, mental health disorders, study found
Watch it! Your job may give you a stroke
Mental stress at work may increase the risk of stroke by 1.4 times, a new study says.
In Theory: Evidence Mounts Linking Acetaminophen and Asthma
More than 20 studies, including a large analysis of data on more than 200,000 children, have produced results that link acetaminophen use to an increased risk of asthma.
Men Who Step Lively May Outpace Grim Reaper
Older men who walk at least 3 miles an hour need not fear the Reaper. They stay ahead of him and tend to outlive guys who move along at a slower pace, new research reveals.
Breast cancer risk can be reduced through lifestyle changes
Avoiding unnecessary medical radiation and tobacco smoke and exercising regularly might lower women's chances of contracting the disease, a new IOM report says.
How Much Vitamin D Do We Need?
Despite knowing that vitamin D is vital to health, researchers say data on just what dose is the right dose to reduce the risk of fractures and disease such as cancer are inconclusive.
Genes Play Major Role in Primate Social Behavior, Study Finds
Conclusions of an Oxford survey challenge some of the leading theories of social behavior.
Four Daily Cups of Coffee May Cut Cancer Risk in Women
Women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day are at reduced risk of endometrial cancer, a large new study found.
Many elderly screened for cancer despite risks
Many older Americans get screened for colon, breast, prostate and cervical cancer although guidelines recommend against routinely screening.
Scientists race to unlock secrets of immortality
People have searched for the secret to everlasting life since ancient times. Now, scientists say they may be close to achieving immortality, or something close to it.

NIH Press Releases

Early dietary experience shapes salt preference of infants and preschoolers
For decades, public health initiatives have encouraged people to put less salt in their foods and to check packaged foods for sodium content, but many people still consume too much salt.
Press Statement on the NSABB Review of H5N1 Research
The U.S. government remains concerned about the threat of influenza, for the risks it poses seasonally, as well as its potential to cause a pandemic.
NIH scientists find a potential new avenue for cancer therapies
NIH scientists find a potential new avenue for cancer therapies.
Statement by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on the Institute of Medicine re...
The use of animals in research has enabled scientists to identify new ways to treat illness, extend life, and improve health and well-being. Chimpanzees are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, providing exceptional insights into human biology and the need for special consideration and respect. While used very selectively and in limited numbers for medical research, chimpanzees have served an important role in advancing human health in the past. However, new methods and technologies developed by the biomedical community have provided alternatives to the use of chimpanzees in several areas of research.
Cigarette and alcohol use at historic low among teens
Cigarette and alcohol use by eighth, 10th and 12th-graders are at their lowest point since the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey began polling teenagers in 1975, according to this year's survey results. However, this positive news is tempered by a slowing rate of decline in teen smoking as well as continued high rates of abuse of other tobacco products (e.g., hookahs, small cigars, smokeless tobacco), marijuana and prescription drugs.
Panel endorses active monitoring and delay of treatment for low-risk prostate...
An independent panel convened this week by the National Institutes of Health has concluded that many men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer should be closely monitored, permitting treatment to be delayed until warranted by disease progression.
NIH grantee honored for pioneering research on gene networks
A long-term grantee of the National Institutes of Health has been awarded the International Prize for Biology from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

NIH Announcements

Network and Infrastructure Support for Development of Interdisciplinary Aging Research (R24)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2015 
Implications of the Economic Downturn for Health, Wealth, and Work at Older Ages (R01)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2015
Behavioral Interventions to Address Multiple Chronic Health Conditions in Primary Care (R01)
Expiration Date: January 8, 2014
Small Grants Program for Cancer Epidemiology (R03)
Funding Opportunity PAR-12-039 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), encourages the submission of Small Research Grant (R03) applications for research on cancer etiology and epidemiology. The overarching goal of this FOA is to provide support for pilot projects, testing of new techniques, secondary analyses of existing data, development and validation of measurement methods, linkage of genetic polymorphisms with other variables related to cancer risk, and development of innovative projects for more comprehensive research in cancer etiology and epidemiology.
Limited Competition: Archiving and Dissemination of Research Data on Aging (P30)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-12-013 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this FOA is to continue the P30 Center Grant to 1) maintain the existing collections of the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging and develop it further as a user-friendly data archive to support behavioral and social science research on aging; 2) advise and assist researchers in documentation and archiving of data and metadata; 3) advise and assist researchers on methods of sharing data for secondary analysis while providing adequate protections for confidentiality; and 4) facilitate secondary analysis by providing user support, access to data, and training and consultation.
Economic Studies Ancillary to Completed or Ongoing Health Care Delivery and F...
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-023 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for Research Project (R01) grant awards to support health economics research ancillary to completed or ongoing large-scale health care delivery and financing pilots, demonstrations, and other experiments (PDEs) that are intended to reduce health care costs or cost growth while maintaining or improving patient outcomes. This FOA provides support for up to five years of funding. This FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform (
Phased Economic Studies Ancillary to Planned Health Care Delivery and Financi...
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-024 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for Phased Innovation (R21/R33) grant awards to support health economics research conducted alongside planned large-scale health care delivery and financing pilots, demonstrations, and other experiments (PDEs) that are intended to reduce health care costs or cost growth while maintaining or improving patient outcomes. This FOA provides support for up to two years (R21 phase) for research planning activities and feasibility studies, followed by possible transition to up to four years of expanded research support (R33 phase). The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed five years. This FOA requires measurable R21 milestones to be completed prior to the transition to the R33 phase. This FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform ( 
Mechanistic Pathways Linking Psychosocial Stress and Behavior (R01)
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)
RFA-HL-12-037 issued by the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Opportunity Network (OppNet) solicits Research Project grant (R01) applications from institutions and organizations that propose to investigate basic psychological, social, and environmental mechanisms and processes linking psychosocial stressors and behavior.



2012 WLS Pilot Grant Program
The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will award two to three pilot grants to investigators using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) data for scholarly research.  Grant application must be received by May 25, 2012. Please contact Carol Roan by e-mail or by telephone (608) 265-6196 for more information.

The 12th Annual OBSSR Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials is now accepting applications.
For further information and application instructions please follow this link:

6th Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory -- Applications due by February 1, 2012
Announcing an intensive, 7-day workshop for early career investigators July 14 to July 21, 2012 at the Fluno Center for Executive Education in Madison, Wisconsin.  The objectives of the institute are to allow approximately 30 attendees to extend their understanding of the assumptions underlying major types of health behavior theories, to explore how theories are tested and improved, and to examine how to use theories appropriately in designing interventions for behavioral risk factor modification.  The institute is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. More information, the application, and comments from previous participants are available at:


5th Annual NIH Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation: Research at the Crossroads
March 19-20, 2012, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
Proposals submission deadline: November 10, 2011

Population Association of America Annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.
The 2012 Annual Meeting will be held May 3-5 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.

American Geriatrics Society 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting, May 2-5, 2012, Seattle, WA
Abstracts Deadline: December 5, 2011

Summer Research Institute on Behavioral Intervention, June 14-16, 2012
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

2012 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 17-20, Denver, CO
Abstracts Deadline: January 11, 2012

Gerontological Society of America's 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 14-18, 2012, San Diego, CA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2012


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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