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CCBAR Newsletter – January, 2014

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Natalia Gavrilova participated in the 5th International Symposium "Living to 100" (January 8-10, Orlando, FL) organized by the Society of Actuaries. This year the symposium agenda had more biomedical presentations including keynote presentations by Nir Barzilai, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, "Could Moses Live to be 120?" and Anthony Atala, M.D., Director of Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, "Regenerative Medicine: New Approaches to Health Care."  More information about the Symposium including slides of presentations (linked to the Agenda page) is available at the following website:

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

Realizing the promise of cancer predisposition genes
by Nazneen Rahman
Genes in which germline mutations confer highly or moderately increased risks of cancer are called cancer predisposition genes. More than 100 of these genes have been identified, providing important scientific insights in many areas, particularly the mechanisms of cancer causation. Moreover, clinica...
Fit for purpose
Regular exercise helps with work-life balance, survey indicates.
Tobacco Control Progress and Potential
by Frieden TR.
The 1964 surgeon general's report on the health harms of smoking hit the country like a bombshell. More than 40% of US adults smoked, and smoking was accepted and considered normal behavior. Today, the US adult smoking rate is around 18% and about half of Americans are protected from secondhand sm...
Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries, 1980-2012
by Ng M, Freeman MK, Fleming TD, et al.
Tobacco is a leading global disease risk factor. Understanding national trends in prevalence and consumption is critical for prioritizing action and evaluating tobacco control progress. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of daily smoking by age and sex and the number of cigarettes per smok...
An innate link between obesity and asthma
by Juan C CeledónJay K Kolls
The concordant epidemics of asthma and obesity are both associated with inflammation, and obesity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for asthma. A new study in mice indicates that part of the immunological connection between obesity and asthma involves inflammasome activation and produc...
The Many Faces of Sirtuins: Sirtuins and the Warburg effect
by Leonard Guarente
Metabolic regulators that permit adaptation to changes in caloric intake have been shown to be needed to protect from age-related disorders. Sirtuins play a crucial part in this program, impinging on not only aging but also other diseases. New findings are uncovering the multifaceted activity of sir...
The Many Faces of Sirtuins: Coupling of NAD metabolism, sirtuins and lifespan
by Eric Verdin
Multivitamins Offer No Protection to Brains or Hearts
by Slomski A.
One-third of individuals in the United States consume multivitamins, but they shouldn't count on the supplements to prevent cognitive decline or reduce the risk of cardiovascular events after a heart attack, conclude authors of 2 randomized placebo-controlled trials.
Sex differences in structural connectome [Neuroscience]
by Ingalhalikar, M., Smith, A., Parker, D., Satterthwaite, T. D., Elliott, M. A., Ruparel, K., Hakonarson, H., Gur, R. E., Gur, R. C., Verma, R.
Sex differences in human behavior show adaptive complementarity: Males have better motor and spatial abilities, whereas females have superior memory and social cognition skills. Studies also show sex differences in human brains but do not explain this complementarity. In this work, we modeled the st...
Biomarkers of sex differences in vaccine responses [Systems Biology]
by Furman, D., He&jnodot;blum, B. P., Simon, N., Jo&jnodot;ic, V., Dekker, C. L., Thiebaut, R., Tibshirani, R. J., Davis, M. M.
Females have generally more robust immune responses than males for reasons that are not well-understood. Here we used a systems analysis to investigate these differences by analyzing the neutralizing antibody response to a trivalent inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine (TIV) and a large number of ...
More Evidence for Coronary Calcium as a Measure of Cardiovascular Risk Has An...
by Greenland P.
Prevention is a valued goal in both public health and clinical medicine, but the methods differ. In clinical medicine, the focus is on the individual patient and 'personalized' assessment and intervention are highly desirable. Thus, in prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), while the public hea...
Alzheimer Gene APOE e4 Linked to Brain Development in Infants
by Mc Donald J, Krainc D.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Good cholesterol 'can turn nasty'
Good cholesterol also has a downside and it can increase the risk of heart attacks, according to US doctors.
The new face of food stamps: working-age Americans
 In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps - a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients....
Antibiotics in Animals Tied to Risk of Human Infection
A federal analysis of 30 antibiotics used in animal feed found that the majority of them were likely to be contributing to bacterial infections that are resistant to treatment in people, according to documents released by a health advocacy group.
Mind: The Older Mind May Just Be a Fuller Mind
It's not so much that the mental faculties of older people are rapidly declining, it's that their databases are fuller, a new study suggests.
DDT pesticide linked to Alzheimer's risk
Daily health headlines: A pesticide banned may raise Alzheimer's risk through imported foods, doctors think of new ways to curb antibiotic prescriptions, plus how yoga helps cancer survivors and more health stories.
Vitamin D's health benefits in question
Vitamin D supplements may not keep you healthy, say New Zealand researchers, obese moms may be putting their kids at risk for life-long health problems, plus more top stories
Vitamin D may help early multiple sclerosis
Daily health headlines: Boosting vitamin D could help people with multiple sclerosis, spending more time in sun may boost longevity, plus more top stories
Too Much Sitting May Raise Heart Failure Risk for Men
Study found even exercise did not compensate for sedentary behavior
Sunlight Might Be Good for Your Blood Pressure: Study
Researchers figure out why, suggest not getting enough might raise risk for heart disease
Labeling obesity as a disease may have psychological costs
Messages that describe obesity as a disease may undermine healthy behaviors and beliefs among obese individuals, according to a new study. The findings show that obese individuals exposed to such messages placed less importance on health-focused dieting and reported less concern about weight. These beliefs, in turn, predicted unhealthier food choices.
Scientists find genetic mechanism linking aging to specific diets
In new research published, scientists identify a collection of genes that allow an organism to adapt to different diets and show that without them, even minor tweaks to diet can cause premature aging and death.
Nipping diabetes in the blood
79 million Americans are thought to have "prediabetes," a condition that puts them at risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Now researchers have discovered that a simple blood test can reveal an individual's risk of developing type-2 diabetes before they develop prediabetes -- far earlier than previously believed. The findings could help doctors provide earlier diagnosis and treatment.
Researchers find changes to protein SirT1
Studies have suggested that the protein SirT1 may be protective in metabolic diseases and the effects of aging, and diminished SirT1 activity has been reported in various disease models including diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Maintaining a normal level of this protein may be effective in preventing obesity- and age-related diseases.
Chocolate, Tea, Berries May Cut Diabetes Risk: Study
Substances found in some people's favorite foods appear to benefit blood sugar, inflammation levels
Traumatic brain injury may triple risk for early death
People with TBIs three times more likely to die before age of 56 than those without injury
Who should get the PSA test for prostate cancer?
Government advisory panel recommends against PSA test because of false positive risk, damage caused by treatment; but some experts argue not treating cancer is more dangerous
Melatonin may lower prostate cancer risk
Higher levels of melatonin, a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle, may suggest decreased risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, according to results of new
Precancerous Cells on Cervix Tied to Higher Risk of Disease, Death
Large Swedish study also found risk increases with age
Cervical Cancer Screening Found to Benefit Older Women in New Study
Researchers say their results support screening women up to age 65 and beyond
Drinking linked to faster mental decline in men
Middle-aged men risk a faster mental decline as they age if they've been drinking heavily for years, new research suggests....
'Obesity paradox' busted: Being pudgy not healthier for diabetics
The "obesity paradox" - the controversial notion that being overweight might actually be healthier for some people with diabetes - seems to be a myth, researchers report. A major study finds there's no survival advantage to being large, and a disadvantage to being very large.
Altering the community of gut bacteria promotes health and increases lifespan
Having the right balance of gut bacteria may be the key to enjoying a long healthy life. Scientists promoted health and increased lifespan in Drosophila by altering the symbiotic relationship between bacteria and the absorptive cells lining the intestine. The work provides a model for studying diseases associated with the aging gut, and how we go from having a young, healthy gut to one that is old and decrepit.
The way to a chimpanzee's heart is through its stomach
Researchers measured the urinary oxytocin levels in wild chimpanzees after food sharing and found them to be elevated in both donor and receiver compared to social feeding events without sharing. Furthermore, oxytocin levels were higher after food sharing than after grooming, another cooperative behavior, suggesting that food sharing might play a more important role in promoting social bonding.
Spirituality, religion may protect against major depression by thickening bra...
A thickening of parts of the brain cortex associated with regular meditation or other spiritual or religious practice could be the reason those activities guard against depression - particularly in people who are predisposed to the disease, according to new research. Researchers studied 130 subjects and found that those who highly valued spirituality showed thicker portions of brain cortices that may protect against depression -- especially in those at high risk for the disease.
Primate growing up with half the calories: New understanding about human heal...
New research shows that humans and other primates burn 50 percent fewer calories each day than other mammals. The study suggests that these remarkably slow metabolisms explain why humans and other primates grow up so slowly and live such long lives.

NIH Press Releases

NIH research network finds many youth have high levels of HIV
Study succeeds at early diagnosis but suggests high risk of HIV infection for youth.
Cognitive training shows staying power
NIH-funded trial shows 10-year benefit in realms of reasoning, speed.
Hypothermia and older adults
Tips for staying safe in cold weather.
Severe mental illness tied to higher rates of substance use
New NIH study shows that certain protective factors do not exist in those with severe mental illness.
Drivers engaged in other tasks about 10 percent of the time
NIH, Virginia Tech study shows crash risks greatest for teens.

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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