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CCBAR Newsletter – July, 2010

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau

CCBAR Questions and Answers this Month:

Q: Is there a dried blood spot protocol for environmental toxin benzene oxide?

A: See:    

    Funk, W., Waidyanatha, S., Chaing, S., Rappaport, S. Hemoglobin adducts of benzene oxide in neonatal and adult dried blood spots. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2008,          17(8), 1896-1901
        Note: We are grateful to Thom McDade at Northwestern University for navigation on this issue.


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

A new DAF-16 isoform regulates longevity
Ageing: Predicting long life
Many of us hope for a long and healthy life, but it is widely accepted that achieving this depends on a complex combination of environment and genetics. A genome-wide association study of centenarians has now confirmed the importance of genetic variation in predisposition to exceptional
Irrelevant events affect voters' evaluations of government performance [Polit...
Does information irrelevant to government performance affect voting behavior? If so, how does this help us understand the mechanisms underlying...Tight Blood Pressure Control and Cardiovascular
Arterial aging: hemodynamic changes and therapeutic options
Arterial aging can be attributed to two different pathophysiological changes - increase in arterial stiffness and disturbed wave reflections. The capacity of the aorta to absorb the force exerted by the left ventricular ejection and dampen pulsatile flow becomes diminished with advancing age, owing to...
Disease prevention: should we target obesity or sedentary lifestyle?
Obesity is a major health challenge facing the modern world. Some evidence points to obesity itself as the main driver of premature mortality. We propose that this view is oversimplified. For example, high levels of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with lower mortality,
Culture clash on consent
All research on human subjects requires their informed consent. Obtaining valid consent from isolated minorities can be particularly challenging, but scientists need to avoid the temptingly easy way out, so as to prevent further exclusion of these vulnerable populations from biomedical research.
Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease: academic, industry and regulatory perspec...
Advances in therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer's disease that lead to even small delays in onset and progression of the condition would significantly reduce the global burden of the disease. To effectively test compounds for Alzheimer's disease and bring therapy to individuals as early as possible
Learning and memory: Ageing without forgetting
The level of CREB expression and activity predicts whether long-term memory will decline or improve with age after life-extending strategies.
Hypertension: Elevated systolic blood pressure in middle age is associated wi...
Epidemiological studies have shown that, in addition to being a risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, hypertension is associated with the onset of dementia. Lenore Launer and colleagues have now reported that a quarter of cases of late-life dementia in a cohort of Japanese-Ame...
Diabetes: Glycated hemoglobin is a marker of diabetes and CVD risk
The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in clinical practice has been mainly based on the measurement of glucose levels in blood. Growing evidence, including results from a new large-scale population study, however, strongly suggests that the assessment of glycated hemoglobin levels has advantages over m...
Obesity: Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may reduce weight gain in midd...
Middle-aged or older women who drink light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol gain less weight and have a lower risk of becoming overweight or obese than nondrinkers, according to a prospective study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.?An inverse association between alcohol consumption and
Vitamin pills may raise cancer risks
Multivitamin use is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in a cohort of Swedish women, Susanna Larsson and colleagues have found. "Many people believe that taking [vitamin] supplements will reduce their risk of chronic disease, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease," say Larsson
Diabetes: Low HbA1c levels and mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus
A novel study published in The Lancet suggests a U-shaped association between HbA1c levels and mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. But is a revision of current guidelines to include a minimum HbA1c target advisable on the basis of these findings?
Alzheimer disease: Eating a combination of healthy foods lowers the risk of d...
A diet rich in nuts, vegetables, fish and poultry can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD), according to the results of a study by Yian Gu and colleagues at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Their research, published in Archives of
Personality and reproductive success in a high-fertility human population [An...
The existence of interindividual differences in personality traits poses a challenge to evolutionary thinking. Although research on the ultimate consequences...
[News Focus] Epigenetics: A Role for Epigenetics in Cognition
The push to show that epigenetics can translate early life experiences into lasting changes in behavior has been accompanied by a parallel surge of interest in how chemical modifications to DNA can affect cognition.
Adverse Events Associated with Testosterone Administration
Background Testosterone supplementation has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength in healthy older men. The safety and efficacy of testosterone treatment in older men who have limitations in ...
Testosterone Deficiency and Replacement in Older Men
It is now clear that men have gradual declines in average serum testosterone levels as they age. These decreases begin by middle age and continue into old age.1,2 Although the ...
Hunger and Socioeconomic Disparities in Chronic Disease
Each year just before Thanksgiving, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports the number of U.S. households that are at risk for going hungry because of an inability to afford ...
Socioeconomic Position and Mortality [Letters]
Socioeconomic Position and Mortality--Reply [Letters]
Association Between Adiposity in Midlife and Older Age and Risk of Diabetes i...
Adiposity is a well-recognized risk factor for type 2 diabetes among young and middle-aged adults, but the relationship between body composition and type 2 diabetes is not well described among older adults.
To examine the relationship between adiposity, changes in adipo...
The delay in sharing research data is costing lives
It is not uncommon for potentially life-saving research data to be published years after being generated. But the setback to progress caused by the delay in releasing data is troublesome for people who selflessly participate in trials and desperately await new therapies. Scientists need to feel grea...
Smoking and emphysema: the stress connection
The stress response protein Rtp801 mediates damage to the lung in response to smoke. This finding might lead to new ways to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.
Ageing: Predicting long life
Many of us hope for a long and healthy life, but it is widely accepted that achieving this depends on a complex combination of environment and genetics. A genome-wide association study of centenarians has now confirmed the importance of genetic variation in predisposition to exceptional
Differential changes in steroid hormones before competition in bonobos and ch...
A large body of research has demonstrated that variation in competitive behavior across species and individuals is linked to variation...
Nutritional intervention in patients with type 2 diabetes who are hyperglycae...
Objective To determine the extent to which intensive dietary intervention can influence glycaemic control and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes who are...
Tight Blood Pressure Control and Cardiovascular Outcomes Among Hypertensive P...
Hypertension guidelines advocate treating systolic blood pressure (BP) to less than 130 mm Hg for patients with diabetes mellitus; however, data are lacking for the growing population who also have coronary artery disease (CAD).

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Japanese women extend life expectancy to new high
Japanese women are expected to live almost 86 1/2 years, topping the world longevity ratings for the 25th straight year, the government reported Monday....
Can Migraines Damage the Brain?
Migraines can increase the risk of strokes, and migraine sufferers are more likely to have a host of medical problems than those without the painful headaches, an expert explains.
Is fresher blood better for surgery?
Facing surgery? You could receive blood that's been stored for a week, or three weeks, or nearly six - and there's growing concern that people who get the older blood might not fare as well.
Low-risk prostate cancer treated aggressively
Many men with low-risk prostate cancer get aggressive treatment, increasing the risk of serious side effects, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
Inhibiting fatty acids in immune cells decreases atherosclerosis risk
Scientists have found a way to significantly reduce atherosclerosis in mice that does not involve lowering cholesterol levels or eliminating other obesity-related problems. They did it by interfering with production of a substance called fatty acid synthase, an enzyme that converts dietary sugars into fatty acids in the liver.
Idling to Death: Sitting Linked to Dying Early
Sitting around too much in one's spare time appears to increase the risk of dying, regardless of physical activity, researchers found.
Education lowers dementia risk
Professor Carol Brayne explains finding that suggest early education helps people compensate against dementia in later life
Depression 'may lead to dementia'
Having depression may nearly double the risk of developing dementia later in life, new research suggests.
Home birth risks under scrutiny
Women who plan home births recover more rapidly from childbirth, but there is a higher risk of their baby dying, an international study suggests.
Colon cancer screenings up, breast rate stalled
Health officials say more older Americans are getting tested for colon cancer, with nearly two out of three getting recommended screenings. Meanwhile, breast cancer screening rates remain stuck on a higher plateau....
Task force urges bone-density tests for more women
Routine screening for osteoporosis should include all younger postmenopausal women who have at least the same chance of a bone break as an older woman, a government task force said Monday....
Closing in on genes that help people live to 100
The oldest among us seem to have chosen their parents well. Researchers closing in on the impact of family versus lifestyle find most people who live to 100 or older share some helpful genes....
Testosterone Gel Trial Ends After Heart Issues
A study was stopped abruptly last year after 10 elderly men taking testosterone suffered serious cardiac problems, compared with only one in a control group.
Vital Signs: Patterns: Added Sugar and High Blood Pressure
A new study suggests that foods high in added sugar may increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Vital Signs: Regimens: Lower Homocysteine and Heart Risk
People with high blood levels of the amino acid are at increased risk for heart disease and strokes. A new study shows that reducing the level of homocysteine does not cut those risks.
Mother's diet, genes may raise birth defect risk
Mothers who eat a high fat diet before and during pregnancy may be putting their offspring at risk of birth defects, scientists said on Tuesday.
Robert Butler, who coined 'ageism,' dies at 83
Dr. Robert Butler, a Pulitzer Prize-winning expert on aging who coined the phrase "ageism," has died in New York City, his daughter said Tuesday. He was 83.
Study: High-Fructose Diets May Raise Blood Pressure
Foods and beverages with high amounts of fructose from added sugar may increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Prostate Cancer Screening: Benefits Outweigh Risks
A large study shows that screening men for prostate cancer decreased mortality rates by about half, researchers report.
Predicting Alzheimer's: PET Scan Plus Memory Test Works Best
About half of older people with memory loss who meet the clinical definition of mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer?s disease within five years, but predicting who will and will not progress to dementia remains a challenge.
Good Friends Are Good for You
An Australian study of older people found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with the fewest friends by 22%.
Low vitamin D linked to the metabolic syndrome in elderly people
A new study adds to the mounting evidence that older adults commonly have low vitamin D levels and that vitamin D inadequacy may be a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects one in four adults.
Virgin olive oil and a Mediterranean diet fight heart disease by changing how...
Everyone knows olive oil and a Mediterranean diet are associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, but a new research report offers a surprising reason why: these foods change how genes associated with atherosclerosis function.
Vaginal gel 'slashes HIV risks'
A vaginal gel significantly cuts the rate of women contracting HIV from infected men in a South African experiment, researchers say.
Mobiles 'may boost tinnitus risk'
Regularly using a mobile phone may increase the risk of tinnitus, in which there is constant ringing or buzzing in the ear, a small study suggests.
Study: Test-tube kids face increased cancer risk
A large study suggests a higher rate of childhood cancer among test-tube babies, but researchers say the reason probably has nothing to do with how the infants were conceived.
Natural substance NT-020 aids aging brains in rats, study finds
Researchers found that a combination of nutrients called NT-020 promoted adult neural stem cell proliferation in aged rats and boosted their memory and spatial navigation performance. They tested two groups of aged laboratory rats; one group received NT-020 and a control group did not. In the NT-020 treated group, neurogenesis increased and researchers concluded that the NT-020 treated group had fewer activated inflammatory brain cells and an increase in stem cells.

NIH Press Releases

New Compound Improves Obesity-Related Health Complications in NIH-Led Study
An experimental compound appears to improve metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity, according to a preliminary study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. A report of the study, which was conducted with obese mice, appears online today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
NIH Announces New Awards in Program to Expand Interdisciplinary Research Care...
Almost $6 million has been awarded to investigators and programs to help researchers in the early stages of careers in women's health research. The funding is from the National Institutes of Health's Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) and other co-sponsors. The money will go to 12 new and continuing Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) programs nationwide. This is the fifth funding round of an innovative, interdisciplinary career development program for men and women junior faculty in women's health research.
Federal Report Details Health and Economic Status of Older Americans
Today's older Americans enjoy longer lives and better health than did previous generations. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
HIV/AIDS Treatment Curbs Spread of HIV Among Drug Users, According to NIH Sup...
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), currently known for its therapeutic benefits against HIV, also reduced the spread of the virus among people with a history of injection drug use, according to a population-based study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The study was published today in the Lancet.
NIH Scientists Advance Universal Flu Vaccine
A universal influenza vaccine -- so-called because it could potentially provide protection from all flu strains for decades ? may become a reality because of research led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
NIH Expands Food Allergy Research Program
Today, the National Institutes of Health announce that the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), established in 2005, will be funded for five more years. CoFAR will continue to foster new approaches to prevent and treat food allergies and also expand in scope to include research on the genetic causes underlying food allergy and studies of food allergy-associated eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs).
NIH Expands National Network for Transforming Clinical and Translational ...
Nine health research centers have received funds to develop ways to reduce the time it takes for clinical research to become treatments for patients. The funds were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Adverse Cardiovascular Events Reported in Testosterone Trial in Older Men
A clinical trial of testosterone treatment in older men, reported June 30 online in the New England Journal of Medicine, has found a higher rate of adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and elevated blood pressure, in a group of older men receiving testosterone gel compared to those receiving placebo. Due to these events, the treatment phase of the trial was stopped. The study was supported by a grant to Shalender Bhasin, M.D., at Boston Medical Center from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Aiming for Near-Normal Blood Sugar Did Not Delay Combined Risk of Diabetic Da...
In people with longstanding type 2 diabetes who are at high risk for heart attack and stroke, lowering blood sugar to near-normal levels did not delay the combined risk of diabetic damage to kidneys, eyes, or nerves, but did delay several other signs of diabetic damage, a study has found. The intensive glucose treatment was compared with standard glucose control. These findings are from the NIH-funded Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial. Although intensive treatment produced some beneficial changes, this approach was reported in 2008 to increase death rates.
Intervention Lowered Obesity Rate in Youth at High Diabetes Risk, HEALTHY Stu...
An intervention in middle schools lowered the obesity rate in students at highest risk for type 2 diabetes, those who started out overweight or obese in sixth grade, an NIH-funded study has found.
Researchers Discover How Folate Promotes Healing In Spinal Cord Injuries
The vitamin folate appears to promote healing in damaged rat spinal cord tissue by triggering a change in DNA, according to a laboratory study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAICs) (P30) 
Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AG-11-002
Expiration Date: October 22, 2010
Alzheimer’s Disease Core Centers (P30)
Request For Applications (RFA) Number:  RFA-AG-11-005
Expiration Date: October 14, 2010
Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease (R01)
Request for Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-ES-10-002
Expiration Date: September 30, 2010
Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Submissions for FY2011 Fu...

Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Change in Application Submission Package and Clarification of Research Strate...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Correction on the First Submission Date for Resubmission and Revision Applica...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Advancing Novel Science in Womens Health Research (ANSWHR) (R21)
Program Announcement from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

Subjective Well-being: Advances in Measurement and Applications to Aging (R01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages ...
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts

Expiration Date: October 15, 2010
Aging Studies in the Pulmonary System (R01)
Enhancing Peer Review: Clarification of Resubmission Policy and Determination of New Application Status
Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-080



105th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta, GA, August 14-17, 2010.

The National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and the Foundation for NIH, will be holding the Second Cognitive Aging Summit to take place in Washington, DC, on October 4-5, 2010. Online registration for the meeting is now open, and you can register by following this link:  Cognitive Aging Summit 2010 – Registration

Gerontological Society of America's 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting, November 19-23, 2010, Hilton, New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, LA.

4th National Conference on Genomics and Public Health: Using Genomic Information to Improve Health Now and in the Future.
Date: Wednesday, December 8 - Friday, December 10, 2010. Location: Bethesda North Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland

Population Association of America Annual Meeting.
The 2011 Annual Meeting will be held March 31-April 2 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel, Washington, DC.
(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.

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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