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CCBAR Newsletter – February, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


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

Neuroscience: Old age, bad sleep, poor memory
The gradual loss of cells in the brain's cortex could be decreasing sleep quality in older adults, leading to poorer long-term memory.Bryce Mander and Matthew Walker at the University of California, Berkeley, and their group asked healthy adults to memorize a list of words,
Reproductive biology: Broken DNA in ageing eggs
The quality of egg cells declines as women age, probably partly because the cells' ability to repair DNA damage becomes impaired.Kutluk Oktay at New York Medical College in Rye and his collaborators found that egg cells from older women have more DNA damage and
Ageing: Stem cells on a stress-busting diet
by Teresa V. Bowman, Leonard I. Zon
Knowing how an organism's tissues handle stress throughout life is key to understanding ageing and disease. Stems cells of the blood system seem to tackle metabolic stress by means of a process called autophagy. See Article p.323
FOXO3A directs a protective autophagy program in haematopoietic stem cells
by Matthew R. Warr, Mikhail Binnewies, Johanna Flach, Damien Reynaud, Trit Garg, Ritu Malhotra, Jayanta Debnath, Emmanuelle Passegué
Blood production is ensured by rare, self-renewing haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). How HSCs accommodate the diverse cellular stresses associated with their life-long activity remains elusive. Here we identify autophagy as an essential mechanism protecting HSCs from metabolic stress. We show that m...
Longevity: Fish oils turn on cellular recycling
The polyunsaturated fats found in fish oils may promote longevity by triggering autophagy, a process that helps cells to survive starvation conditions by degrading and recycling excess cell components.A team led by Gary Ruvkun of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that when they
A piece in the puzzle of puberty
by Margaret M McCarthy
The onset of puberty in mammals is determined by a poorly understood mix of genetics and environment. A survey of the epigenetic methylation landscape provides insight into a potential mechanism for the onset of puberty in females involving emancipation from a repressive gene complex in hypothalamic...
Genotype to phenotype: lessons from model organisms for human genetics
by Ben Lehner
To what extent can variation in phenotypic traits such as disease risk be accurately predicted in individuals? In this Review, I highlight recent studies in model organisms that are relevant both to the challenge of accurately predicting phenotypic variation from individual genome sequences ('whole-...
Public health: The benefits and challenges of smoking cessation
by Megan Cully
Smoking is bad for one's health. The habit increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including ischaemic heart disease and stroke, as well as other conditions, such as cancer. The investigators of two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine quantified smoking-associated mortalit...
Risk factors: Vitamin D level and surgical risk
by Gregory B. Lim
Either a low or a high circulating level of vitamin D increases the risk of major adverse cardiac or cerebrovascular events (MACCE) after cardiac surgery. This finding comes from a new study performed by investigators at Ruhr University Bochum in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany (latitude 52°N).
Basic research: From stress to social behaviour - glucocorticoids and dopaminer...
by Joana Osório
Two new studies published in Science clarify the molecular mechanisms linking stress and social behaviour. The results of both studies elucidate the way in which stress-related increases in glucocorticoid levels act on dopaminergic circuits in the brain of mice and how these mechanisms influence
Obesity: Predicting risk of later obesity from the first day of life
by Matthew A. Sabin, Markus Juonala
Obesity is a considerable threat to the future health of our children. Data from a large prospective cohort study have now led to the generation of a simple tool that can be used in the neonatal period to identify babies at the highest risk of developing obesity later in life. Will this tool prove u...
[Research Articles] Cross-Hemispheric Functional Connectivity in the Human Fe...
by Thomason, M. E., Dassanayake, M. T., Shen, S., Katkuri, Y., Alexis, M., Anderson, A. L., Yeo, L., Mody, S., Hernandez-Andrade, E., Hassan, S. S., Studholme, C., Jeong, J.-W., Romero, R.
Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. Howev...
[Research Articles] Binge Drinking Induces Whole-Body Insulin Resistance by I...
by Lindtner, C., Scherer, T., Zielinski, E., Filatova, N., Fasshauer, M., Tonks, N. K., Puchowicz, M., Buettner, C.
Individuals with a history of binge drinking have an increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Whether binge drinking impairs glucose homeostasis and insulin action is unknown. To test this, we treated Sprague-Dawley rats daily with alcohol (3 g/kg) for three consecuti...
Sedative prescribing among older people doubles with move into residential ca...
by White, C.
The proportion of older people who receive mood altering drugs increases sharply when they move into residential care, a rise that is not fully explained by prescribing rates before admission, a study from Northern Ireland has found.The findings back up those of other studies in the United Kingdom a...
Pressure grows on government to act on obesity as figures show effect on heal...
by Limb, M.
The government is coming under increasing pressure to change its approach to tackling obesity, as figures show that hospital admissions for obesity are rising and that the general population is ignoring advice on healthy diet and exercise levels.The number of inpatient admissions with a primary diag...
Life expectancy soars in Africa with introduction of antiretroviral drugs
by Roehr, B.
Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for HIV have had a profound effect in Africa on patient treatment and society, two new studies show.Adult life expectancy had fallen to 49.2 years in 2003 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, based on a rural population cohort of more than 101,000 people who were hard hit by th...
Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet
by (Ramón Estruch et al)
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 0, Issue 0, Ahead of Print.
Association Between Telomere Length and Experimentally Induced Upper Respirat...
by Cohen S, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB, et al.
ImportanceAlthough leukocyte telomere length is associated with mortality and many chronic diseases thought to be manifestations of age-related functional decline, it is not known whether it relates to acute disease in younger healthy populations.ObjectiveTo determine whether shorter telomeres in le...
Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010
by Jones CM, Mack KA, Paulozzi LJ.
To the Editor: Data recently released by the National Center for Health Statistics show drug overdose deaths increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2010. Pharmaceuticals, especially opioid analgesics, have driven this increase. Other pharmaceuticals are involved in opioid overdose deaths, but th...
Evolution of fairness [Social Sciences]
by Rand, D. G., Tarnita, C. E., Ohtsuki, H., Nowak, M. A.
Classical economic models assume that people are fully rational and selfish, while experiments often point to different conclusions. A canonical example is the Ultimatum Game: one player proposes a division of a sum of money between herself and a second player, who either accepts or rejects. Based o...
Increase in stillbirths in Greece is linked to the economic crisis
by Vlachadis, N., Kornarou, E.
Gardosi and colleagues' article has prompted us to highlight the recent increase in stillbirths in Greece.1We analysed official data on stillbirths in Greece from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Stillbirth rates in Greece continuously decreased over 42 years, from a high of 16.03/1000 l...
Association Between Maternal Use of Folic Acid Supplements and Risk of Autism...
by Surén P, Roth C, Bresnahan M, et al.
ImportancePrenatal folic acid supplements reduce the risk of neural tube defects in children, but it has not been determined whether they protect against other neurodevelopmental disorders.ObjectiveTo examine the association between maternal use of prenatal folic acid supplements and subsequent risk...
Periconceptional Folic Acid and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders
by Berry RJ, Crider KS, Yeargin-Allsopp M.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication and by repetitive, restrictive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. The most serious of the conditions comprising ASDs is autistic disorder,...
US Longevity Falls Short vs That of Peer Countries
by Kuehn BM.
Although the United States spends more on health care than any other country, US residents live shorter and less healthy lives than do people in other developed nations, according to a new report ( from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine. Moreover,...
Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults - United States, 2011
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Mediterranean diet lowers risk of heart attack, stroke
The Mediterranean diet is a well-known weapon in the fight against heart disease, but exactly how effective is it?
Panel questions value of calcium, vitamin D pills
Popping calcium and vitamin D pills in hopes of strong bones? Healthy older women shouldn't bother with relatively low-dose dietary supplements, say new recommendations from a government advisory group....
Well: Dangers of Too Much Calcium
New research suggests that older women who take large calcium supplements may be at increased risk of heart disease and death.
Calcium Supplements May Raise Men's Death Risk From Heart Disease
Study did not find similar threat to women, however
Flu shot doing poor job of protecting older people
It turns out this year's flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting older people, the most vulnerable age group....
Sequester cuts would hit elderly meals, childcare
The budget sequester due to take effect on Friday would hit virtually every health program, from childhood vaccinations to Meals on Wheels, according to the Obama administration.
Updated: NIH Director, Senator Mikulski Warn of Sequester's Impact on Biomedi...
Hundreds of research grants, training awards are at risk on 1 March
Relationship Worries Can Make You Sick
Chronic fretting linked to rise in stress hormones, lowered immune response in study
Too Much Sitting Linked to Chronic Health Problems
Risks for diabetes, cancer and heart disease all seem to rise with more time spent seated, study finds
Early Exposure to Gluten May Help Babies Avoid Celiac Risk: Study
Swedish experts say introducing grain-based foods at 4 months, while still breast-feeding, may cut risk
More Americans Successfully Managing Diabetes
But large U.S. government study shows there's a lot of room for improvement to prevent complications
High-glycemic foods tied to diabetes risk
People who eat a lot of low-fiber and processed foods that quickly spike blood sugars may, not surprisingly, have a significantly higher risk of the most common form of diabetes, according to a new study.
Chemicals in Cookware, Carpets May Raise Arthritis Risk in Women
Study looked at PFCs, found in products from nonstick cookware to carpeting
Vegetarian Diet May Cut Heart Disease Risk
The risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease is almost a third lower in vegetarians, study says.
Which Fats Really Are Good For Your Heart?
Omega-6 fatty acid found in vegetable oils may actually boost heart disease risk, study says.
Caffeine Linked To Low-Birth-Weight Babies
Drinking caffeine raises the risk of a baby being born small by up to 62 percent, study says.
Drinking Causes Thousands Of Women A Year To Die From Cancer; What Is A Healt...
Few people realize the cancer risks in drinking alcohol. It causes, on average, 18 years of lost life in alcohol-related cancers.
Deep Fried Foods May Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer by Up to 37 Percent
We all know that fried food is not good for us, but many of us indulge anyway.
Can't Get it Up? Even Minor Problems in the Bedroom Could Signal Hidden Heart...
Even minor problems in the bedroom could serve as a red flag for "silent" heart disease, according to a new study of 95,000 men. Besides signaling a bad heart, a man's erectile dysfunction can also mean that he is at an increased risk of dying early.
Targeting CPR education in high-risk neighborhoods could save more lives
Targeting CPR education in high-risk neighborhoods could increase the number of bystanders giving CPR and decrease deaths from cardiac arrest, according to a new statement.
Mouse mothers induce parenting behaviors in fathers with ultra-sonic noises
Researchers have demonstrated the existence of communicative signalling from female mice that induces male parental behavior.
One Week of Sleep Deprivation Disrupts DNA Expression; A Third of Americans a...
A new study shows how lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the gene mechanisms that control metabolism, stress, and immunity. Over one-third of Americans are sleep-deprived.
Working Out Too Much May Have Little Benefit
By splitting older women into three groups, a new study found that those that exercised four times a week had the most gains.
Mammograms Every Two Years As Effective As Annually Ones For Older Women
For older women, ages 66 to 74, having a mammography every other year is as effective as those every year.
Longer Time Breastfeeding Equals Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk, Study
Researchers have known that women who breastfeed their babies are significantly less likely to develop ovarian cancer, but a new study has revealed that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the smaller her risk for developing the disease.
Why the elderly care crisis is here to stay
Why the crisis in old age care is here to stay
Young Adults Are America's Most Stressed Generation: Survey
And most feel they get little support from their doctors
Aging bikers 3 times more likely to get injured
Jim Lattimore, of Franklin, Tenn., has ridden over 800,000 miles on motorcycles in 74 countries over a span of nearly five decades. He still owns 14 bikes. But he's 69, now.
Birth order linked to increased risk of diabetes, metabolic disorders
Long a source of sibling rivalry, birth order may raise the risk of first-born children developing diabetes or high blood pressure, according to a recent study.
Bisphenol A affects sex-specific reproductive behaviors in a monogamous anima...
A series of experiments studied the effects of prenatal exposure to bisphenol A on later reproductive-associated behaviors using a socially and genetically monogamous rodent, the California mouse, which may better mirror most human societies than other rodents.
Heart Disease Hits Minority Women Hardest
Heart Disease is the number one killer of women but hits minority women younger and is more deadly.
Researchers Develop Blood Test that Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse Risk
Researchers from Canada have developed a kind of blood test that can predict whether or a not a woman, who has undergone breast cancer treatment, have a relapse, reported Mail Online.
Loneliness Disrupts Immune System: Study Says
Being lonely can have significant effect on a person's immune response which in turn can lead to a risk of vulnerabilities to many health complications, says a new study.
Hearing Loss Linked To Mental Decline In Elderly
Older people with hearing deficits are more likely to develop problems with memory.
Heart Problems Tied to Early Signs of Dementia
Older adults with heart problems may be at greater risk for mental changes that are thought to signal the beginnings of a type of dementia, a new study shows.
Can testosterone make you live longer?
Can testosterone really reverse man's ageing process?
Sunshine may 'reduce arthritis risk'
Living in a sunnier climate may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to US researchers.
Unhappy childhood heart risk link
Emotional behaviour in childhood may be linked with heart disease in middle age, especially in women, research suggests.
'Coming Out' Can Bring Health Benefits, Study Says
Openness about sexual orientation may reduce stress for lesbians, gays and bisexuals
Marriage May Cut Heart Attack Risk for Both Spouses
Finding lends support for vow to take 'in sickness and in health'

NIH Press Releases

NIH rare disease event to raise awareness, encourage research collaborations
Rare Disease Day, held each year on February 28, was established to raise awareness about the estimated 7,000 rare diseases that affect about 25 million Americans. To mark the occasion in 2013, the NIH will host a free, two-day public event beginning on this day to focus on rare diseases research and advocacy activities supported by several government agencies.
NIH launches study of long-term effects of blood glucose during pregnancy
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health plan to determine whether elevated blood sugar during pregnancy, a less?severe condition than gestational diabetes, influences later levels of body fat in children and development of diabetes in mothers after giving birth.
Scientists identify molecular events that underlie FASD
Scientists have identified a molecular signaling pathway that plays an important role in the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The new research in cells and mice, supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, points to candidate genes for FASD susceptibility and may open new avenues for developing drugs to prevent alcohol damage to the fetal brain. A report of the study is now online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Independent panel to present findings on diagnosing gestational diabetes mell...
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy (especially during the third trimester of pregnancy). It is defined as carbohydrate intolerance, which is the inability of the body to adequately process carbohydrates (sugars and starches) into energy for the body, that develops or is first recognized during pregnancy.
NIH study shows big improvement in diabetes control over past decades
More people are meeting recommended goals in the three key markers of diabetes control, according to a study conducted and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Imaging acute ischemic stroke patients' brains did not lead to improved outcomes
The use of an advanced imaging shortly after the onset of acute stroke failed to identify a subgroup of patients who could benefit from a clot-removal procedure, a study has found.
NIH scientists identify molecular link between metabolism and breast cancer
A protein associated with conditions of metabolic imbalance, such as diabetes and obesity, may play a role in the development of aggressive forms of breast cancer, according to new findings by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues. Metabolic imbalance is often caused by elevated carbohydrate intake, which can lead to over-activating a molecule called C-terminal binding protein (CtBP). This over-activation, in turn, can increase the risk of breast cancer. Results of their work appeared in Nature Communications, Feb. 5, 2013.
Imaging biomarker predicts response to rapid antidepressant
PA telltale boost of activity at the back of the brain while processing emotional information predicted whether depressed patients would respond to an experimental rapid-acting antidepressant, a National Institutes of Health study has found.
NIH study finds missed opportunities for underage alcohol screening
Physicians often fail to ask high school-aged patients about alcohol use and to advise young people to reduce or stop drinking, according to a study led by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
New NIH resources help growing number of Americans with vision loss
A 20-page large-print booklet and a series of videos to help people adapt to life with low vision are available from the National Eye Institute (NEI), a part of the National Institutes of Health. The materials were released during Low Vision Awareness Month, February 2013.
NIH urges women to protect their heart health and to encourage others to do t...
During American Heart Month in February 2013, The Heart Truth campaign of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will celebrate the stories of women taking action to protect their hearts and who are inspiring and motivating others to make heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

NIH Announcements

Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R03) PA-13-123
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R21) PA-13-124
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
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
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R01)
Funding Number: PAR-13-055
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R21)
Funding Number: PAR-13-054
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R03)
Funding Number: PAR-13-056
Expiration Date: January 8, 2016
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
Secondary Analyses in Obesity, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R21)
Funding Number: PA-12-125
Expiration Date: May 8, 2015
Biodemography of Aging (R21), Funding Number: PAR-12-079
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R03), Funding Number: PAR-12-080
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



NIH Videocasts:

Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Mammalian Aging    
Air date:  Thursday, March 28, 2013, 12:00:00 PM (ET)


Population Association of America Annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.
The 2013 Annual Meeting will be held April 11-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Abstract deadline:  September 21, 2012 

2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 3 - 5, 2013
Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX
Abstract deadline: December 3, 2012

The 25th REVES meeting on health expectancy
The University of Texas at Austin (TX), May 27-29, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2013

The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2012

108th Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
August 10-13, Hilton New York & Sheraton New York
The deadline for paper submission is January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
26 to 31 August 2013. Busan, Republic of Korea
Abstract deadline: November 7, 2012

66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of AmericaWednesday, 11/20 to Sunday, 11/24, 2013
Sheraton New Orleans - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, Louisiana
Deadline for abstract submissions is March 15, 2013


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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