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CCBAR Newsletter – February, 2014

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  

News from our Colleagues:

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
When: Wednesday April 30, 2014 (8:30 - 4:30).
Where: Boston, MA - Boston Marriott Copley Place
The Biomarker Network headquartered at the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health is soliciting abstracts for presentations at the Biomarker Network Meeting which will take place on the Wednesday before the Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Conference.
We will develop sessions on methods of theoretical developments, methods and experience in assessment of biomarkers and substantive results.   
The abstract should clarify the material to be presented: the topic, the data, the methods, the results.  Abstracts are limited to 300 words.
The deadline for submitting abstracts is February 28, 2014.
Please send abstracts to Eileen Crimmins at


Natalia Gavrilova has published a new paper on aging and mortality: Gavrilova, N.S., Gavrilov, L.A. Biodemography of Old-Age Mortality in Humans and Rodents. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2014 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print].

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

Regenerative medicine: Stem cells make muscles stronger
Manipulating muscle stem cells in older people could promote regeneration and prevent muscle breakdown.Bradley Olwin at the University of Colorado Boulder and his colleagues demonstrated that a protein called p38 prevents stem cells in old muscles from renewing. When the authors took muscle stem
Cancer: Unmasking the real risk genes
Cancer researchers have found part of the answer in the case of the 'missing heritability' - the mismatch between genetic disease risk and common genetic variants.It has long been thought that common variants might be weakly linked to disease because they are co-inherited with
Geriatric muscle stem cells switch reversible quiescence into senescence
by Pedro Sousa-Victor,Susana Gutarra,Laura García-Prat,Javier Rodriguez-Ubreva,Laura Ortet,Vanessa Ruiz-Bonilla,Mercè Jardí,Esteban Ballestar,Susana González,Antonio L. Serrano,Eusebio Perdiguero,Pura Muñoz-Cánoves
Regeneration of skeletal muscle depends on a population of adult stem cells (satellite cells) that remain quiescent throughout life. Satellite cell regenerative functions decline with ageing. Here we report that geriatric satellite cells are incapable of maintaining their normal quiescent state in m...
Cancer genetics: The origin and evolution of an ancient cancer
by Isabel Lokody
A new genomic analysis of the oldest known cancer clarifies its origin and evolution.
Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions
by Stefan Koelsch
Music is a universal feature of human societies, partly owing to its power to evoke strong emotions and influence moods. During the past decade, the investigation of the neural correlates of music-evoked emotions has been invaluable for the understanding of human emotion. Functional neuroimaging stu...
Social gaze in cocaine users [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
by Verdejo-Garcia, A.
We humans have a biologically based need to form intimate personal relationships and large social networks. Social bonding is evolutionarily adaptive and powerfully rewarding, whereas social isolation often results in emotional pain and harmful behavior. However, the longing for social bonding can b...
Treating Dementia and Agitation
by Small GW.
Age is the greatest single risk factor for developing dementia. When people reach age 65, their risk of dementia is 10%, and by age 85, approximately one-third will develop Alzheimer disease, the most common cause of dementia. With 76 million US baby boomers entering or having entered this period of...
[Perspectives] Pharmacogenetics at 50: Genomic Personalization Comes of Age
by Urban, T. J., Goldstein, D. B.
The study of the genetics of drug responses has a long history but has provided only a few examples of gene variants that are relevant clinically. Here, we discuss the current state of the pharmacogenomics field with emphasis on the potential of data generated through drug development in order to sh...
US Sodium Intake Still Too High
More than 90% of adolescents and adults in the United States consume more than the recommended amount of sodium, putting them at potential high risk of hypertension.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Cooking meat 'may be dementia risk'
Browning meat in the oven, grill or frying pan produces chemicals which may increase the risk of developing dementia, US researchers suggest.
New study on Vitamin E, cancer, heart disease
Daily health headlines: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against Vitamin E to prevent disease, diabetes linked to stroke risk in women but not men, plus more top stories
Not into your spouse? It may hurt your heart health
Partners who claimed to be ambivalent towards each other were more likely to have elevated heart disease risk
Broken Hearts: Strokes, Heart Attacks More Likely After Loss
Heartache can quickly turn into heartbreak after the loss of a loved one - quite literally.A study of seniors found the risk of heart attack jumped twofold in the 30 days following the loss of a partner. Stroke risk rose
Life Saver: Women With Cancer Gene Should Remove Ovaries by 35
Women with certain genetic mutations that greatly raise their risk of breast and ovarian cancer can cut the risk by as much as 80 percent if they get their ovaries removed by age 35, a new study suggests.
Ovary Removal Might Raise Odds for Bone Loss, Heart Disease
Doctors should assess overall risks in premenopausal women, study suggests
Double Mastectomy May Benefit Some Women With Inherited Breast Cancer
Study found procedure might cut risk of death in half for those with certain genetic mutations
Moderate Exercise May Cut Women's Stroke Risk
Study found brisk walking, tennis lowered chances of brain attack by 20 percent
Could the Weather Affect Your Stroke Risk?
Study suggests stroke hospitalizations and death rates tied to changes in temperature and humidity
Can citrus ward off your risk of stroke?
Eating foods that contain vitamin C may reduce your risk of the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke, according to a new study. Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, papaya, peppers, broccoli and strawberries. Hemorrhagic stroke is less common than ischemic stroke, but is more often deadly.
Vitamin E, Selenium Supplements Might Double Chances of Prostate Cancer
Risk was highest when men had high or low levels of selenium already in their body
'Fat Hormone' Tied to Higher Colon Cancer Risk in Obese Men
More precancerous polyps seen in small study as body fat increased
Too Much Sitting After 60 May Lead to Disability, Study Says
For each extra sedentary hour per day, researchers found a 50 percent increased risk
Saliva Test May Spot Depression Risk in Male Teens
Saliva Test May Spot Depression Risk in Male Teens Number of Fertility Treatment Babies in U.S. Increasing
Body shape index as new predictor of mortality
Scientists have developed a new method to quantify the risk specifically associated with abdominal obesity. A follow-up study, published Feb. 20 by the online journal PLOS ONE, supports their contention that the technique, known as 'A Body Shape Index,' is a more effective predictor of mortality than body mass index, the most common measure used to define obesity.
A paper diagnostic for cancer: Low-cost urine test amplifies signals from gro...
A low-cost urine test amplifies signals from growing tumors to detect disease. Cancer rates in developing nations have climbed sharply in recent years, and now account for 70 percent of cancer mortality worldwide. Early detection has been proven to improve outcomes, but screening approaches such as mammograms and colonoscopy, used in the developed world, are too costly to be implemented in settings with little medical infrastructure. To address this gap, engineers have developed a simple, cheap,...
Abdominal fat accumulation prevented by unsaturated fat
New research shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than polyunsaturated fat. This is the first study on humans to show that the fat composition of food not only influences cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular disease but also determines where the fat will be stored in the body. Gaining weight on excess calories from polyunsaturated fat appears to cause more gain in muscle mass, and less body fat than overeating a similar amount of saturated fat.
Number of test-tube babies born in U.S. sets record
So does their percentage of total U.S. births, but critics stress high IVF failure rate persists in women over 35
Quitting smoking may bring mental health benefits
Quitting smoking may lower odds of lung cancer and heart disease; new study shows depression, stress and anxiety may also drop
Could Infections Harm Memory in Older Adults?
Early study found connection between exposure to microbes, poorer scores on mental-ability tests
Researchers rejuvenate stem cell population from elderly mice, enabling muscl...
Researchers have pinpointed why normal aging is accompanied by a diminished ability to regain strength and mobility after muscle injury: over time, stem cells within muscle tissues dedicated to repairing damage become less able to generate new muscle fibers and struggle to self-renew. Scientists identified for the first time a process by which the older muscle stem cell populations can be rejuvenated to function like younger cells.
Loneliness is a major health risk for older adults
Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to new research. The research shows that the impact of loneliness on premature death is nearly as strong as the impact of disadvantaged socioeconomic status, which they found increases the chances of dying early by 19 percent.
LGB individuals living in anti-gay communities die early, study shows
In the first study to look at the consequences of anti-gay prejudice for mortality, researchers found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who lived in communities with high levels of anti-gay prejudice have a shorter life expectancy of 12 years on average compared with their peers in the least prejudiced communities.
Clinical trial success influenced by biomarker - and receptor-targeted therap...
Over the past decade, a great clinical focus has been directed at developing new and innovative therapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). An analysis of clinical trials evaluating these therapies demonstrates that the cumulative success rate for new agents for advanced NSCLC is lower than the industry-estimated rate. However, biomarker- and receptor-targeted therapies were found to substantially increase clinical trial success.
What do women want? It depends on time of month
A meta-analysis of research on changes in mate preferences across the menstrual cycle suggests that ovulating women have evolved to prefer mates who display sexy traits, such as a masculine body type, dominant behavior, certain body odors and masculine facial features, rather than traits that are generally desirable in a long-term mate.

NIH Press Releases

NIH releases comprehensive new data outlining Hispanic/Latino health and habits
These new findings have been compiled and published as the Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities.
Youth born with HIV may have higher heart disease risk, NIH network study shows
Researchers advise reducing risk through diet, exercise, not smoking.
NIH team discovers genetic disorder causing strokes and vascular inflammation...
Next-generation sequencing defines new pathway for blood vessel disease.
NIH study seeks to improve asthma therapy for African-Americans
NIH study seeks to improve asthma therapy for African-Americans Multicenter trial will assess different drug regimens and explore genetics of treatment response.
NIH study finds regular aspirin use may reduce ovarian cancer risk
Women who take aspirin daily may reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 20 percent.
NIH, industry and non-profits join forces to speed validation of disease targets
Goal is to develop new treatments earlier, beginning with Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.
Adding chemotherapy following radiation treatment improves survival for adult...
Results from long-term follow-up of a National Institutes of Health-supported randomized controlled clinical trial.
NIH study offers insight into why cancer incidence increases with age
Researchers suspect DNA methylation may be involved.
NCI launches trial to assess the utility of genetic sequencing to improve pat...
Trial could identify patient sub-groups that are likely to benefit from certain treatments.
NIH scientists map genetic changes that drive tumors in a common pediatric so...
The genetic alterations identified could be useful in developing targeted diagnostic tools and treatments for children with the disease

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



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 was 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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