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CCBAR Newsletter – February, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


The next Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research Conference will be held in Chicago, June 2-3, 2011, adjacent to Northwestern University's Cells to Society (C2S) Summer Biomarker Institute.  The focus of the 2011 conference will be Biosocial Approaches to the Study of Urban Health and Aging.  We plan to do a major update from the field on state-of-the-art methods and evidence for minimally invasive approaches to biological measures in population research, expanding to include biomeasures of physical/natural environment exposures of concern in urban settings. We are also inviting individuals from the major biosocial studies to look at their data through the lens of urban health or urban/suburban/rural comparisons.  Please contact Stacy Lindau  if you would like to present or participate in the conference.  Space is limited. 

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

Biomarkers: Is CRP level useful to guide statin therapy? Lack of evidence fro...
Whether the concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) in blood can predict a patient's response to statin therapy has been hotly debated. A new analysis by the Heart Protection Study (HPS) Collaborative Group, published in the Lancet, shows no correlation between baseline levels of CRP
Biomarkers: Even low cTnT levels are indicative of structural heart disease a...
While development of the current generation of troponin assays ... has lead to a paradigm shift in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) and injury, the recently introduced highly sensitive troponin tests will expand the diagnostic potential to the detection of minute injuries of the
Cell biology: Ageing theories unified
Ageing is a complex process involving defects in various cellular components. The latest evidence suggests a unifying mechanism for cellular ageing that is relevant to the development of common age-related diseases.
Neuroscience: Root of resilience under stress
Some individuals react coolly to stressful events, whereas others slip into depression. Work in mice suggests that chemical modifications to the DNA may explain the difference. Shusaku Uchida and Yoshifumi Watanabe at Yamaguchi University in Japan and their colleagues subjected two genetically distin...
The scientific social network
A joint statement from 17 funding agencies urges biomedical researchers to openly share data obtained from population-based studies. Although this will foster more collaboration, new web technologies need to be harnessed, and the attribution of credit must change to facilitate this transition.
Systems neuroscience: The stress of dieting
Food restriction alters stress and feeding pathways in the brain, and promotes binge eating of high-fat foods upon subsequent exposure to stress.
Prevention: A new model to estimate lifetime risk of CVD
In primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the use of models that estimate the absolute 10-year risk of developing CVD has been the norm. These models have been utilized to identify people who might benefit from intervention. However, this approach may miss people at younger
Being surveyed can change later behavior and related parameter estimates [Med...
Does completing a household survey change the later behavior of those surveyed? In three field studies of health and two of microlending, we randomly assigned subjects to be surveyed about health and/or household finances and then measured subsequent use of a related product with data that does not ...
A gradient of childhood self-control predicts health, wealth, and public safe...
Policy-makers are considering large-scale programs aimed at self-control to improve citizens' health and wealth and reduce crime. Experimental and economic studies suggest such programs could reap benefits. Yet, is self-control important for the health, wealth, and public safety of the population? F...
Responses to the Assurance game in monkeys, apes, and humans using equivalent...
There is great interest in the evolution of economic behavior. In typical studies, species are asked to play one of a series of economic games, derived from game theory, and their responses are compared. The advantage of this approach is the relative level of consistency and control that emerges fro...
Correlated genotypes in friendship networks [Social Sciences]
It is well known that humans tend to associate with other humans who have similar characteristics, but it is unclear whether this tendency has consequences for the distribution of genotypes in a population. Although geneticists have shown that populations tend to stratify genetically, this process r...
[News Focus] Human Genome 10th Anniversary: Waiting for the Revolution
Having the complete human DNA sequence hasn't yet produced big advances in primary medicine, prompting some to ask what's delaying the genomic revolution in health care.
Sex-chromosome evolution: recent progress and the influence of male and femal...
It is now clear that sex chromosomes differ from autosomes in many aspects of genome biology, such as organization, gene content and gene expression. Moreover, sex linkage has numerous evolutionary genetic implications. Here, I provide a coherent overview of sex-chromosome evolution and function bas...
Health-care hit or miss?
Will the $27-billion investment in electronic records in the United States revolutionize care and research, or will it be a missed opportunity for patients and science?
Vitamin D deficiency in 2010: Health benefits of vitamin D and sunlight: a D-...
Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of autoimmune, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, as well as the risk of falls and fractures. Several prospective, randomized, controlled trials published in 2010 highlight the importance of improving vitamin D status in children...
Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory [Neurosci...
The hippocampus shrinks in late adulthood, leading to impaired memory and increased risk for dementia. Hippocampal and medial temporal lobe volumes are larger in higher-fit adults, and physical activity training increases hippocampal perfusion, but the extent to which aerobic exercise training can m...
Melanoma: Early exposure is inflammatory
Exposure of mouse skin to UVB early in life generates macrophage infiltration and an interferon response that promotes melanocytic survival, evasion of the immune response and oncogenesis.
Association between Body-Mass Index and Risk of Death in More Than 1 Million ...
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 364, Issue 8, Page 719-729, February 2011.
Body-Mass Index and Mortality among White Adults
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 364, Issue 8, Page 781-783, February 2011.
The Impact of Institutional Discrimination on Psychiatric Disorders in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: A Prospective Study
We examined the relation between living in states that instituted bans on same-sex marriage during the 2004 and 2005 elections and the prevalence of psychiatric morbidity among lesbian, gay, and bisexual ...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

In Surprise Finding, Bald Mice Find Their Fur Again
Mouse researchers conducting stress hormone experiments have stumbled onto a surprising new discovery -- a potential treatment for hair loss.
Is Early Balding Linked to Prostate Cancer?
Men who start to go bald by age 20 may have an increased risk for developing prostate cancer later in life, a study suggests.
‘Dirt cheap’ seaweed chips spot disease
Microsponges derived from seaweed are a key component of a tiny programmable chip designed to sniff out diseases such as HIV and cancer.

Studying Aging, and Fearing Budget Cuts
Dr. Richard J. Hodes, the director of the National Institute on Aging, weighs the research his lab is doing in a time of fiscal pressure.
Premature aging replicated in the lab
The current pace of population aging is without parallel in human history but surprisingly little is known about the human aging process, because lifespans of eight decades or more make it difficult to study. Now, researchers have replicated premature aging in the lab, allowing them to study aging-related disease in a dish.
Ecuadorean Villagers May Hold Secret to Longevity
People with a rare condition called Laron-type dwarfism are almost completely free of cancer and diabetes.
Could a regular 40-minute walk be a brain booster?
Walking for 40 minutes a few times a week is enough to preserve memory and keep ageing brains on top form, research shows.
Prescriptions: Rating Heart Risk Tests
Consumer Reports says many common screenings should be avoided by healthy people.
High blood pressure, obesity linked to memory loss in elderly
Older people who have larger waistlines, high blood pressure and other risk factors associated with that describe a condition doctors call "metabolic ...
Obesity alone raises risk of fatal heart attack, study finds
Obese men face a dramatically higher risk of dying from a heart attack, regardless of whether or not they have other known risk factors for cardiovascular ...
Report on global cardiac risks: World gets fatter, but blood pressure goes down
The whole world is getting fatter, except perhaps for the women of Italy and Singapore. Globally, blood pressure is slowly coming down. Cholesterol is falling in rich countries and rising in developing ones.
Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Memory Loss
Older people with large waistlines, high blood pressure, and other risk factors for a condition called metabolic syndrome may be at greater peril for experiencing memory loss, a new French study suggests.
Americans Don't Do Enough to Cut Hypertension, Cholesterol
The CDC says in a new report that about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. who have high cholesterol levels and about half who have high blood pressure are not being treated as effectively as they could be, unnecessarily raising their risk of stroke or heart attacks.
Heart Risk Tied to Memory Problems
Middle-aged men and women with heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also be at risk for memory problems as they age.
Moderate Alcohol Drinking May Boost Heart Health
New research shows that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce heart disease risk by up to 25%, and this is likely due, at least in part, to alcohol’s positive effects on HDL 'good' cholesterol levels.
Do Hot Flashes Protect Women From Heart Disease?
Hot flashes during menopause may actually lower some women’s risk for developing heart disease, according to new research published online in the journal Menopause.
Who's at Risk for Hearing Loss?
Statin use, heredity, and having a noisy job may be associated with hearing loss in middle-aged adults, a new study shows.
Being Multilingual Cuts Risk of Memory Problems
People who speak more than two languages during their lifetime may be at reduced risk of developing memory problems as they age, new research indicates.
Stroke History of Moms Predicts Risk for Daughters
The daughters of women who suffer strokes may be at increased risk of having a heart attack and also at increased risk of stroke, new research indicates.
Quality and quantity of maternal milk impacts stress response of adult offspring
Two studies highlight how maternal care makes the baby's brain less vulnerable to stress. The quality and quantity of maternal milk and maternal-infant contact impact the stress response of the adult offspring, according to recent research.
Economic development could change worldwide face of cancer
A new American Cancer Society report says cancers associated with lifestyles and behaviors related to economic development, including lung, breast, and colorectal cancers, will continue to rise in developing countries if preventive measures are not widely applied.
Elderly 'face greater care costs'
The government has been accused of penalising the most vulnerable in society by campaigners after it froze the threshold for social care help.
Promise of genomics research needs a realistic view, experts urge
Unrealistic expectations about genomic medicine have created a "bubble" that needs deflating before it puts the field's long term benefits at risk, according to a group of policy experts.
New testing could replace colonoscopies in the future
Nobody enjoys colonoscopies, including mice. Researchers are excited about the potential of using genetic biomarkers to predict colon cancer caused by inflammation. A new method could eventually lead to a method that might eliminate colonoscopies altogether.
'One in eight' breast cancer risk
A woman's risk of getting breast cancer over her lifetime has increased to one in eight, show statistics obtained by Cancer Research UK.
Cut red meat to lower cancer risk
People should cut back on red and processed meat to reduce their risk of getting cancer, the government says.
Severe gluten allergy linked to asthma risk
People with the digestive disorder known as celiac disease are more likely to develop another disorder involving the immune system: asthma, according to a new study.
Fiber seems to be linked to a reduced risk of disease in people older than 50
  Diets high in fiber have been shown to aid weight loss and help with digestive problems. Might fiber also offer other health benefits?

NIH Press Releases

NIH-funded study finds new possible risk factor of heart disease
Abnormal heart rate turbulence is associated with an increased risk of heart disease death in otherwise low-risk older individuals, according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
USAID Administrator Shah to deliver major global health address at the Nation...
On Feb. 15th, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will deliver the David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture at the National Institutes of Health. This is thought to be the first ever address to NIH staff at-large by a sitting USAID Administrator. In his remarks, Dr. Shah will chart a course forward for President Obama's Global Health Initiative and issue a challenge to the development community around five transformational goals. The annual lecture is co-sponsored by Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
New NIH cookbook encourages families to eat healthfully
Nutritious meals can be tasty and easy to prepare, according to a new family cookbook from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
NIH study finds two pesticides associated with Parkinson's disease
New research shows a link between use of two pesticides, rotenone and paraquat, and Parkinson's disease. People who used either pesticide developed Parkinson's disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users.
Researchers identify protein essential for embryo implantation
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have identified a key step in the establishment of a pregnancy. Their discovery shows how the hormone progesterone suppresses the growth of the uterus's lining so that a fertilized egg can implant in the uterus.
NHGRI charts course for the next phase of genomics research
A new strategic plan from an arm of the National Institutes of Health envisions scientists being able to identify genetic bases of most single-gene disorders and gaining new insights into multi-gene disorders in the next decade. This should lead to more accurate diagnoses, new drug targets and the development of practical treatments for many who today lack therapeutic options, according to the plan from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
NIH encourages women to take charge of their heart health
On Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) The Heart Truth campaign will once again bring the Red Dress to life on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, with the debut of the Red Dress Collection 2011. For the first time, the event will be held at Lincoln Center. More than 20 celebrity participants will display the power of the Red Dress, and encourage women to protect their heart health and take action to lower their risk for heart disease.
High-quality preschool program produces long-term economic payoff
An early education program for children from low-income families is estimated to generate $4 to $11 of economic benefits over a child*'s lifetime for every dollar spent initially on the program, according to a cost-benefit analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Level of tumor protein indicates chances cancer will spread
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Hong Kong have discovered that high levels of a particular protein in cancer cells are a reliable indicator that a cancer will spread.
Cells' energy factories linked to damaging inflammation
Scientists have discovered that molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the energy factories, or mitochondria, in cells, may play a role in a rare inherited disorder in which uncontrolled inflammation damages the body's tissues. Their research in human and mouse cells suggests that blocking these molecules could reduce inflammation in TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) and possibly other inflammatory diseases.
New videos show NIH studies of communication between brain cells
An NIH researcher has captured video images of a previously unknown form of communication between brain cells that might hold clues to the way learning shapes the brain.
Shockable cardiac arrests are more common in public than home
Cardiac arrests that can be treated by electric stimulation, also known as shockable arrests, were found at a higher frequency in public settings than in the home, according to a National Institutes of Health-funded study appearing in the Jan. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
NIH-funded scientists publish orangutan genome sequence
It is easy to feel a kinship with orangutans when looking into their soulful eyes and observing their socially complex behavior. Perhaps that' because orangutans and humans share 97 percent of their DNA sequence, according to an analysis of the great ape's genome published today by an international group of scientists.
Little-known growth factor enhances memory, prevents forgetting in rats
A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable. In the study funded by the National Institutes of Health, animals treated with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-II) excelled at remembering to avoid a location where they had previously experienced a mild shock.


NIH Announcements

Modification of the Biographical Sketch in NIH Grant Application Forms (PHS 3...
Notice NOT-OD-11-045 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Translational Research to Help Older Adults Maintain their Health and Independence in the Community (R01)
Family and Interpersonal Relationships in an Aging Context (R01)
Expiration Date May 8, 2014

Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (R01)
Funding Opportunity PA-11-104 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute on Alcohol, Alcoholism, and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), solicits Research Project Grant (R01) applications from institutions/organizations that propose to conduct research to reduce health disparities among minority and underserved children.
Reducing Health Disparities Among Minority and Underserved Children (R21)
Funding Opportunity PA-11-105 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.

NIA Resources for Aging Studies in the Non-Human Primate Model
Notice NOT-AG-11-003 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Cancer Prevention Research Small Grant Program (R03)
Funding Opportunity PAR-11-079 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is designed to enhance both basic and applied cancer prevention research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications that propose small and time-limited projects pertinent to the development of cancer chemoprevention agents, biomarkers for early cancer detection, cancer-related nutrition science, and/or clinical prevention studies that focus on specific target organs. Proposed projects may involve basic animal and/or translational research and/or human subjects-oriented research. However, treatment related quality of life population based studies, as well as projects focused on cancer etiology, metastasis, animal model development, or treatment will not be appropriate for this FOA. New, as well as established, investigators in relevant fields and disciplines (e.g., chemoprevention, nutritional science, genetics, infectious agents, and early detection, including biomarker development and validation) are encouraged to apply for these small grants to test the feasibility of innovative ideas or carry out pilot studies. Ultimately, these small grants are expected to facilitate the development of full research projects grants.

The Market for Long-Term Care Insurance (R01)
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-002 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits research (R01) applications from institutions/organizations proposing to advance knowledge on the economics of long-term care (LTC), including topics related to private and public LTC insurance, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, and related topics. The FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform (
NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-te...
Funding Opportunity RFA-DE-11-003 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This NIH Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), issued by the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network [OppNet] solicits applications for short-term mentored career development (K18) awards in the basic behavioral and social sciences research (b-BSSR) from three months to one year in duration.
Correction to RFA-CA-10-017, Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13), in Order to Simplify Submission Requirements
Limited Competition: Fogarty International Research Collaboration - Behavioral and Social Sciences (FIRCA-BSS) Research Award (R03)
New Time Limit for NIH Resubmission Applications
National Institute on Aging: Revision Requests for Active Program Projects (P01)

Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-term Interdisciplinary Research Education Program for New Investigators (R25)
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-NR-11-002
Expiration Date: January 7, 2011
Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13)
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




Population Association of America Annual Meeting.
The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held March 31-April 2 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel, Washington, DC.
Abstract deadline: September 21, 2010.
(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.
The deadline to submit abstracts was December 3, 2010.

23rd meeting of REVES will be held in Paris France, from May 25 to 27, 2011
Abstracst deadline: February 15, 2011.

The 7th Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research Conference will be held in Chicago Gleacher Center, June 2-3, 2011
Please contact Stacy Lindau  if you would like to present or participate in the conference.  Space is limited.

Gerontological Society of America's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 18-22, 2011, Boston Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2011

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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