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CCBAR Newsletter – December, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


The 8th Chicago Workshop on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research

Slides for selected presentations at the 2013 Workshop, "Biosocial Study of Health and Aging in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and HIV-Affected Populations" are available at the CCBAR website:

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

Timeline of events: A brief history of what made news this year
Biomedical research in 2013 saw some dramatic developments, with unprecedented government action in the US ranging from the budget sequester in the spring to a dramatic government shutdown in autumn. But throughout the year, bright spots in science around the globe continued to dazzle, including mul...
MD-PhD holders focus on research less than they used to, according to analysis.
Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in sub...
by Brian G Dias, Kerry J Ressler
This study demonstrates an epigenetic inheritance of a learned behavior that is transmitted across generations via the gametes whereby learning about a specific olfactory stimulus changes brain structure and the behavior of future generations. Specifically, Dias and Ressler show that behavioral resp...
[Articles] Effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on natural-cause mo...
Long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution was associated with natural-cause mortality, even within concentration ranges well below the present European annual mean limit value.
[Editorial] Conquering cancer
The latest cancer statistics, released last week, are concerning. GLOBOCAN 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer's online database, shows that the global burden of cancer increased in 2012 to 141 million new cases and 82 million deaths, compared with 127 million and 76 million in 2008. Furthermore, GLOBOCAN 2012 predicts that there will be 193 million new cancer cases per year by 2025 due to growth and ageing of the global population. It confirms - as the last update GLOBOCAN 2008 did - that cancer is a global health priority.
Survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer: life-long risks and responsibil...
by Leslie L. Robison, Melissa M. Hudson
Survival rates for most paediatric cancers have improved at a remarkable pace over the past four decades. In developed countries, cure is now the probable outcome for most children and adolescents who are diagnosed with cancer: their 5-year survival rate approaches 80%. However, the vast
T cell memory: The effect of ageing on CD8+ T cells
by Elisabeth Kugelberg
Ageing, in both mice and humans, results in the replacement of naive T cells by memory T cells. Chiu et al. now show that virtual memory CD8+ T cells, which are unprimed memory-like CD8+ T cells, develop in the absence
Long-term effect of September 11 [Social Sciences]
by Hersh, E. D.
This article investigates the long-term effect of September 11, 2001 on the political behaviors of victims' families and neighbors. Relative to comparable individuals, family members and residential neighbors of victims have become - and have stayed - significantly more active in politics in the last 12...
[Commentary] Stewardship Practices of U.S. Biobanks
by Henderson, G. E., Edwards, T. P., Cadigan, R. J., Davis, A. M., Zimmer, C., Conlon, I., Weiner, B. J.
Biobanks require new governance models that address their ethical and regulatory challenges. One model relies on stewardship of specimens throughout their life course. Here, we discuss findings from our survey of 456 U.S. biobank managers that addressed whether and how biobanks steward their specime...
Limitations From Arthritis Pain Exceed Previous Estimate
Arthritis pain is keeping more US adults from pursuing everyday activities, sports, or hobbies than earlier projections had estimated, according to recent data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
Recommendations for Treating Hypertension What Are the Right Goals and Purposes?
by Peterson ED, Gaziano J, Greenland P.
Hypertension is the most common cardiovascular risk factor in the United States, affecting approximately two-thirds of adults aged 60 years or older. Observational studies have demonstrated a linear relationship between blood pressure (BP) and risk of cardiovascular events. Randomized controlled tri...
Poker face no more: cancer recurrence reveals its hand
by Christopher J Chan, Lisa M Coussens
Recurrent disease after apparent 'cure' of primary tumors is a common factor that contributes to cancer-associated mortality. A new study suggests that an inflammatory cytokine signature may provide a clinical indication of emergent recurrent disease and, accordingly, may suggest how to select and d...
Limitations of inclusive fitness [Evolution]
by Allen, B., Nowak, M. A., Wilson, E. O.
Until recently, inclusive fitness has been widely accepted as a general method to explain the evolution of social behavior. Affirming and expanding earlier criticism, we demonstrate that inclusive fitness is instead a limited concept, which exists only for a small subset of evolutionary processes. I...
Serum hormone levels, cognition, and mood [Neuroscience]
by Henderson, V. W., St. John, J. A., Hodis, H. N., McCleary, C. A., Stanczyk, F. Z., Karim, R., Shoupe, D., Kono, N., Dustin, L., Allayee, H., Mack, W. J.
Variations in the hormonal milieu after menopause may influence neural processes concerned with cognition, cognitive aging, and mood, but findings are inconsistent. In particular, cognitive effects of estradiol may vary with time since menopause, but this prediction has not been assessed directly us...
Oxytocin and long-term pair bonds [Neuroscience]
by Scheele, D., Wille, A., Kendrick, K. M., Stoffel–Wagner, B., Becker, B., Gunturkun, O., Maier, W., Hurlemann, R.
The biological mechanisms underlying long-term partner bonds in humans are unclear. The evolutionarily conserved neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is associated with the formation of partner bonds in some species via interactions with brain dopamine reward systems. However, whether it plays a similar role...
Accumulating Evidence for Statins in Primary Prevention
by Robinson JG.
Many voices in the public and the medical community argue strongly against the widespread use of statins for the primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Critics give several reasons to avoid statin therapy, including concerns about adverse effects, lack of a total mortality ben...
Stagnant Numbers of Uninsured
The overall number of US residents without health insurance remained steady from 2012 into the first 3 months of this year at 46 million - about 15% of the national population - according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
Extending Simulation Learning Experiences to Patients With Chronic Health Con...
by Coleman EA.
As articulated by the Institute of Medicine and reinforced by the recent health reform law, the United States is fostering a deliberate shift toward a more population-based approach to promoting health. Juxtaposed with this shift is the increasing number of persons in the United States with multiple...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Diabetes risk 'from Neanderthals'
A gene variant that seems to increase the risk of diabetes in Latin Americans appears to have been picked up from Neanderthals, a study suggests.
U.S. Panel Backs Routine Lung CT Scans for Older, Heavy Smokers
Yearly testing will prevent some lung cancer deaths, experts conclude
Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels Might Raise Alzheimer's Risk
Keeping cholesterol under control may help brain as well as heart, study suggests
Concussions Linked to Alzheimer's Risk in Study
Brain scans found seniors with both poor memory and prior head injury have more plaque buildup
Only High-Risk Women Need Breast Cancer Gene Test: Experts
Even those with family history of BRCA mutations should talk with professionals first, panel says
Walk More to Cut Heart Attack and Stroke Risk, Study Suggests
People with pre-diabetes appear to benefit from adding extra steps to their daily stroll
Fiber-Rich Foods May Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease
International study looked at fiber from wide range of sources
Anxiety Tied to Stroke Risk in Study
But direct link not proven
Americans Still Eat Too Much Salt: CDC
New strategies needed to reduce risk of high blood pressure, experts say
Testosterone in male songbirds may enhance desire to sing, but not song quality
Introducing testosterone in select areas of a male canary's brain can affect its ability to successfully attract and mate with a female through birdsong. These findings could shed light on how testosterone acts in the human brain to regulate speech or help explain how anabolic steroids affect human behaviors.
Walking the walk: What sharks, honeybees and humans have in common
In the first study of human hunter-gatherer movement patterns, researchers have found that the tribe's movements while foraging can be described by a mathematical pattern called a Levy walk -- a pattern that also is found in the movements of many other animals, from sharks to honey bees.
FDA: Anti-bacterial soaps may not curb bacteria
After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers....
Do vitamins block disease? Some disappointing news
There's more disappointing news about multivitamins: Two major studies found popping the pills didn't protect aging men's brains or help heart attack survivors....
Study: Hormone-blocker slashes breast cancer risk
Women at high risk of developing breast cancer because of family history or bad genes have a new option to help prevent the disease....
U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline: Report
But researchers added that people with other health problems have lower odds of survival
Light Exercise Might Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones
Intensity of activity doesn't seem to matter, study finds
Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Hard-to-Control Blood Pressure
Sleep apnea device allows normal breathing, reduces stress on body, study suggests
How household dogs protect against asthma and infection
Children's risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when they are exposed in early infancy to a dog in the household, and now researchers have discovered a reason why.
Mothers see their youngest as shorter than they are
Many parents say when their second child is born that their first child suddenly appears to have grown overnight. Now, researchers have an explanation: until the birth of the new child, those parents were subject to a "baby illusion," routinely misperceiving their youngest child as smaller (and younger) than he or she really was.

NIH Press Releases

NIH to fund research workforce diversity program
Awards will support creative and transformative approaches to prepare students for successful biomedical research careers.
Enzyme that produces melatonin originated 500 million years ago, NIH study shows
Origins of "timezyme" have implications for understanding sleep, retina disorders
Revised autism screening tool offers more precise assessment
Testing during routine checkups indicates earlier diagnosis possible.
Sixty percent of 12th graders do not view regular marijuana use as harmful
NIH's 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey shows high rates of marijuana use; decreases in abuse of pain relievers and synthetic drugs.
NIH announces six funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative in fiscal 2014
Opportunities focus on developing tools and technologies for advancing our understanding of brain circuitry.
NIH names leadership, research units for restructured HIV/AIDS clinical trial...
Networks will lead HIV/AIDS clinical trials research through 2021.
Study breaks blood-brain barriers to understanding Alzheimer's
NIH-funded study suggests brain blood vessel cells may be therapeutic targets for Alzheimer's disease.
NIH study links family structure to high blood pressure in African-American men
Children of two-parent homes grow up to have lower rates of adult hypertension.
With new study, aquatic comb jelly floats into new evolutionary position
Study calls for a shift in understanding of how complex cell types evolved.
NIH network revolutionizes stroke clinical research
Stroke remains number one cause of disability and fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Tobacco, drug use in pregnancy can double risk of stillbirth
NIH network study documents elevated risk associated with marijuana, other substances.
Gene-silencing data now publicly available to help scientists better understa...
NIH data-sharing collaboration with Life Technologies will advance genetic and translational research, therapeutic target discovery.
Stimulant-addicted patients can quit smoking without hindering treatment
New NIH study dispels concerns about addressing tobacco addiction among substance abuse patients.
NIH-funded study shows increased survival in men with metastatic prostate can...
Clinical trial halted early due to positive results.
NeuroBioBank gives researchers one-stop access to post-mortem brains
NIH networks five brain banks to overcome bottlenecks.

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
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



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: December 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST

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