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CCBAR Newsletter – January, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau



CCBAR member, Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP will be presenting at the conference "Rethinking Urban Poverty for the 21st Century: Institutional and Organizational Perspectives." The conference is hosted by The University of Chicago Urban Network and will be held on March 10 and 11, 2011.  Participation is free but requires registration by  February 28, 2011. For more information, please visit

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.  The meeting will offer an update on state-of-the-art approaches to minimally invasive collection of biological measures in population-based research, and is seeking original, research-in-progress-type presentations of relevance to the topic.  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

Bring on the biomarkers
The dismal patchwork of fragmented research on disease-associated biomarkers should be replaced by a coordinated 'big science' approach, argues George Poste.
How will growing cities eat?
Food security should not be ignored when assessing the future of our cities (Nature467, issue 7318; 2010). Urban populations already comprise more than half of humanity and are expanding. This demographic shift will leave fewer farmers to cultivate the food
A shift toward birthing relatively large infants early in human evolution [An...
It has long been argued that modern human mothers give birth to proportionately larger babies than apes do. Data presented here from human and chimpanzee infant:mother dyads confirm this assertion: humans give birth to infants approximately 6% of their body mass, compared with approximately 3% for c...
Parkinson disease: New developments in CSF biomarkers for early detection and...
No biomarkers are currently available that can reliably diagnose Parkinson disease (PD) - particularly in its early stages - or monitor the progression of this disorder. Two recently published reports have detailed progress in the use of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers to achieve these goals.In the fi...
Neurodegenerative disease: CSF biomarkers differentiate between two forms of ...
Novel cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers can potentially identify patients with one or other of the two main forms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), according to research conducted by John Trojanowski and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA. Identificati...
Alzheimer disease: Homocysteine and Alzheimer disease: an intervention study
Observational studies suggest that high homocysteine levels are a risk factor for brain atrophy and Alzheimer disease, but intervention studies have been inconclusive. New evidence that B vitamin therapy can slow brain atrophy will allow re-examination of elevated homocysteine levels as a potentiall...
Motor neuron disease: Urgently needed - biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral scle...
The development of disease-modifying therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a priority for researchers in this field. Two studies have independently identified plasma and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for ALS, and these biomarkers could provide a means of testing the efficacy of novel...
How instructed knowledge modulates the neural systems of reward learning [Neu...
Recent research in neuroeconomics has demonstrated that the reinforcement learning model of reward learning captures the patterns of both behavioral performance and neural responses during a range of economic decision-making tasks. However, this powerful theoretical model has its limits. Trial-and-e...
Gait Speed and Survival in Older Adults [Original Contribution]
Context Survival estimates help individualize goals of care for geriatric patients, but life tables fail to account for the great variability in survival. Physical performance measures, such as gait speed, might help account for variability, allowing clinicians to make more individualized estimates....
Role of Gait Speed in the Assessment of Older Patients [Editorial]
Histamine restricts cancer: nothing to sneeze at
Histamine produced by immature myeloid cells restricts the expression of inflammatory mediators and regulates leukocyte recruitment to sites of tissue stress. Unexpectedly, cancer susceptibility is increased in mice lacking histamine, thus revealing a previously unknown mechanism whereby immature my...
[News Focus] Social Neuroscience: Why Loneliness Is Hazardous to Your Health
New research suggests that chronic loneliness can cause changes in the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems.
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.
Thyroid gland: TSH reference limits specific for age, sex and ethnicity
A recent article published in Thyroid provides novel reference limits for TSH that are specific for age, sex and ethnicity in the US population.Previous studies have increasingly shown that reference limits of serum TSH and free T4 are significantly influenced by
Type 2 diabetes mellitus in 2010: Individualizing treatment targets in diabet...
The majority of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have uncontrolled glycemia, blood pressure and lipid levels and struggle to achieve targets set by current guidelines. In 2010, subgroup analyses of the ACCORD trial further underscored the need to tailor treatment to each individual.
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...
Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease
Cochrane review questions evidence for statins for primary prevention in low ...
Association of Plasma {beta}-Amyloid Level and Cognitive Reserve With Subsequ...
Lower plasma β-amyloid 42 and 42/40 levels have been associated with incident dementia, but results are conflicting and few have investigated cognitive decline among elders without dementia.
To determine if plasma β-amyloid is associated with cognitive decline and if this...
Mapping Out Biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease [Editorial]


Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Smoking, obesity why US lifespans lag a bit
The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation yet has worse life expectancy than many - and a new report blames smoking and obesity....
Smoking may raise breast cancer risk
Women who smoke have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially if they become smokers early in life, a new study suggests.
Study: Spacing babies close may raise autism risk
Close birth spacing may put a second-born child at higher risk for autism, suggests a preliminary study based on more than a half-million California children....
High sugar consumption may increase risk factors for heart disease in America...
Consuming high amounts of added sugars in soft drinks and foods in adolescence is associated with poor cholesterol profiles and poor diet quality, possibly leading to heart disease in adulthood, according to new research. Teens who ate the highest levels of added sugars had lower good cholesterol levels and higher bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those with the lowest intake. Overweight or obese teens with the highest levels of sugars intake had increased signs of insulin resistance.
Behavior: Distracted Eating Adds More to Waistlines
People who are distracted during a meal eat more, and are hungrier afterward, than those who concentrate on just eating.
Preventing Heart Risks at the Root: Childhood
Two studies suggest that the road to hypertension and heart disease starts in childhood and that prevention should start there, too.
Lifetime risk of adult rheumatoid arthritis determined
Researchers have determined the lifetime risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and six other autoimmune rheumatic diseases for both men and women.
Abstinence, heavy drinking, binge drinking associated with increased risk of ...
Previous research regarding the association between alcohol consumption and dementia or cognitive impairment in later life suggests that mild to moderate alcohol consumption might be protective of dementia. However, most of the research has been conducted on subjects already rather elderly at the start of the follow-up. A new study addresses this problem with a follow-up of more than two decades.
Two Tests Could Aid in Risk Assessment and Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's
Researchers report major advances on two vexing questions about Alzheimer's: How do you know if someone who is demented has it? And how can you screen the general population for risk?
Couch potatoes beware: Too much time spent watching TV is harmful to heart he...
Spending too much leisure time in front of a TV or computer screen appears to dramatically increase the risk for heart disease and premature death from any cause, perhaps regardless of how much exercise one gets, according to a new study.
When less is more: How mitochondrial signals extend lifespan
In making your pro-longevity resolutions, like drinking more red wine and maintaining a vibrant social network, here's one you likely forgot: dialing down your mitochondria. It turns out that slowing the engines of these tiny cellular factories could extend your life-an observation relevant not only to aging research but to our understanding of how cells communicate with each another.
Filtered and bottled water consumption could increase tooth decay risk
As the U.S. consumption of bottled water rises, it is reducing the daily exposure Americans get to the mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. And that could pose a problem, especially for children.
Study finds probable carcinogen in tap water of 31 U.S. cities
A new analysis showing the presence of a probable carcinogen in the tap water of 31 cities across the country has raised questions about possible risks posed to consumers in those communities and how they can reduce their exposure.
Progress Toward Blood Test for Down Syndrome
A new blood test may help pregnant women who are at high risk for having a baby with Down syndrome avoid more invasive tests such as amniocentesis and chronic villus sampling (CVS).
Up to half in U.S. have pre-existing conditions
As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems putting them at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or having to pay more for coverage, according to a U.S. government study reported by the Washington Post on Tuesday.
2 Genes May Be Linked to Heart Disease
Investigators have identified two new genes associated with heart disease which could lead to better ways of recognizing those at risk and preventing heart attacks in some.
Taking 10,000 Steps a Day May Lower Diabetes Risk
Building up to 10,000 steps each and every day can help control weight and may reduce diabetes risk, suggests new research in the British Medical Journal.
NSAID Pain Relievers Raise Heart Risks
A new study is weighing in on the debate over the relative safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) commonly used to treat musculoskeletal aches and arthritis pain.
Ultrasound and a blood test can increase survival after myocardial infarction
Two relatively simple methods, an ultrasound investigation and a blood test to measure the level of a substance known as BNP, can predict survival and future heart failure following acute coronary syndromes.
Cost to treat heart disease in United States will triple by 2030
The cost of treating heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to new projections. The $545 billion increase is due in part to an aging population. The skyrocketing financial burden makes it urgent to implement effective strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Healthier Lifestyle After at-Home Genetic Test?
The marketing for controversial at-home genetics kits claim to empower users with the information they need to take steps to improve their health. But a new study suggests that, in the short term at least, the tests have little impact on behavior.
Heart Benefits for Women Who Cut Hypertension
Middle-aged women who take steps to lower their blood pressure could reduce their risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or developing heart failure, a new study shows.
Women Who Smoke May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
Smoking early in life may raise a woman?s risk of developing breast cancer, according to research that adds new evidence on the link between cigarettes and breast cancer.
Scientists identify avoidable breast cancer risk factors
About 30 percent of postmenopausal breast cancers could be avoided by more exercise and refraining from hormone replacement therapy, according to new calculations by scientists in Germany.
Biomarker test shows promise for melanoma diagnosis
A new study shows that a test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma. Researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy.
Youth adapt faster than seniors to unexpected events, study finds
Does experience give seniors an edge in reacting to sudden change or are younger people quicker to respond? A new study shows that when a routine task is interrupted by an unexpected event, younger adults are faster at responding. The findings have implications for educators and for older adults in situations where performance is crucial.
Advance directives can ease the stress of life-or-death medical decisions
Advance directives can ease the stress of life-or-death medical decisions.
Global Update: Uganda: Male Circumcision May Help Protect Sexual Partners Aga...
Researchers reported in The Lancet this month that having a circumcised partner reduced a woman's risk of catching human papillomaviruses by about 25 percent.

NIH Press Releases

NIH study in mice uncovers pathway critical for UV-induced melanoma
Scientists have made an unanticipated discovery in mice that interferon-gamma, a type of protein primarily used by the immune system for intercellular communication, acts as a promoter for the deadly form of skin cancer known as melanoma. This finding resulted from a series of experiments designed to understand how solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes melanoma. The results of this study suggest that interferon-gamma, which has been thought to contribute to an innate defense system against cancer, under some circumstances may promote melanoma and incite the development of tumors. The work, led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appeared online in Nature, Jan. 19, 2011.
Gene variants predict treatment success for alcoholism medication
The effectiveness of an experimental treatment for alcoholism depends on the genetic makeup of individuals who receive it, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health. A report of the findings appears online in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
NIH-funded study uses new technology to peek deep into the brain
Changes within deep regions of the brain can now be visualized at the cellular level, based on research on mice, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published in Nature Medicine, the study used a groundbreaking technique to explore cellular-level changes over a period of weeks within deep brain regions, providing a level of detail not possible with previously available methods. The study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Cancer costs projected to reach at least $158 billion in 2020
Based on growth and aging of the U.S. population, medical expenditures for cancer in the year 2020 are projected to reach at least $158 billion (in 2010 dollars) -- an increase of 27 percent over 2010, according to a National Institutes of Health analysis. If newly developed tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up continue to be more expensive, medical expenditures for cancer could reach as high as $207 billion, said the researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the NIH. The analysis appears online, Jan. 12, 2011, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Rebooting the brain helps stop the ring of tinnitus in rats
NIH-funded researchers were able to eliminate tinnitus in a group of rats by stimulating a nerve in the neck while simultaneously playing a variety of sound tones over an extended period of time, says a study published today in the advance online publication of the journal Nature.
Trace amounts of germ-killing molecules predict disease survival
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have observed that the survival rate of people with a rare immunodeficiency disease called chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is greatly improved when even very low levels of microbe-killing molecules are present. Because production of these molecules, made by an enzyme called NADPH oxidase, can be predicted from genetic analysis, a patient's risk for severe CGD could be assessed very early in life, allowing for more personalized treatment, say the researchers.
NIH-led study identifies genetic variant that can lead to severe impulsivity
A multinational research team led by scientists at the National Institutes of Health has found that a genetic variant of a brain receptor molecule may contribute to violently impulsive behavior when people who carry it are under the influence of alcohol. A report of the findings, which include human genetic analyses and gene knockout studies in animals, appears in the Dec. 23 issue of Nature.

NIH Announcements

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. Specifically, this initiative focuses on ethnic and racial minority children and underserved populations of children such as: children from low literacy, rural and low-income populations, geographically isolated children, hearing and visually impaired children, physically or mentally disabled children, children of migrant workers, children from immigrant and refugee families, and language minority children. Specific targeted areas of research include biobehavioral studies that incorporate multiple factors that influence child health disparities such as biological (e.g., genetics, cellular, organ systems), lifestyle factors, environmental (physical and family environments), social (e.g., peers), economic, institutional, and cultural and family influences; studies that target the specific health promotion needs of children with a known illness and/or disability; and studies that test and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of health promotion interventions conducted in traditional and nontraditional settings.
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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